A steel sculpture dedicated to Muslim women who wear the hijab is set to be unveiled in Britain’s second-largest city, Birmingham, next month, BBC reported. The sculpture designed by Luke Perry, will be installed in the Smethwick area of the West Midlands in October.
Notably, the hijab is a headscarf that covers the hair, neck, and sometimes a woman’s shoulders.
The sculpture, which is five meters tall and weighs around a tonne, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world. The artwork, called ”Strength of the Hijab”, depicts a Muslim woman wearing a hijab with the words ”it is a woman’s right to be loved and respected whatever she chooses to wear” inscribed across its base.
Speaking about the sculpture, Mr Perry said, ”The Strength of the Hijab” is a piece that represents women who wear hijabs of the Islamic faith, and it’s really there because it’s such an underrepresented part of our community, but such an important one.
“They need visibility, it’s so important, so working with the community to come up with the designs has been really exciting because we didn’t know what it was going to look like until now.”
The site for the artwork will be Smethwick, which the sculptor explained is ”a humongous part of the community that is from the Islamic faith.”
”It’s something which people feel very strongly about, identify with, [and] they feel happy about and comfortable with. But it’s not something which is regularly seen, especially on public art, let alone in a heroic narrative, so this is something that celebrates people who are very much under-celebrated,” he added.
However, he also acknowledged that the new sculpture could be ”controversial”, but said it was important to represent everyone who lived in the UK.
In the past, Mr Perry has designed the Black British History and British History sculpture, alongside Canaan Brown, which was installed in nearby Winson Green in May.