The United Kingdom is preparing to reveal a groundbreaking sculpture that celebrates women who wear hijabs, and it’s being called “Strength of the Hijab.” This unique sculpture is the brainchild of Luke Perry, an English artist renowned for his monumental sculptures, particularly those that honor underrepresented communities and their heritage.
This one-of-a-kind sculpture will find its home in Birmingham, the UK’s second-largest city, to be precise, in the Smethwick area of the West Midlands, where it will be installed in October. Middle East Monitor reports that the sculpture was commissioned by a local charity, Legacy West Midlands. It stands at an impressive five meters (around 16 feet) in height and weighs approximately one tonne.
Luke Perry shared his thoughts on the sculpture, stating, “The Strength of the Hijab is a piece which 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.”
Perry is no stranger to controversy, having previously designed the ‘Black British History is British History’ sculpture. Speaking about the ‘Strength of Hijab’ sculpture, he emphasized the importance of visibility for this underrepresented community. “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 ‘Black British History is British History’ sculpture, created by Perry and Canaan Brown, was installed in Winson Green in May. Unfortunately, shortly after its installation, the sculpture was defaced. Perry acknowledged that the upcoming sculpture celebrating women who wear hijabs could also stir controversy, saying, “There’s a possibility that this piece could be controversial for many different reasons.”
However, the artist believes that it’s crucial to represent all of the UK’s citizens and promote unity. He stated, “I don’t feel like any of them are valid, but people do, there are a lot of people who object to the differences that we have in our communities, and would like them to be more divided. But the future of our country is about what unites us, not what pulls us apart, which is why it’s important to have representation across the whole of the UK, of everybody that lives here.”
Despite potential controversies, Perry noted that the reaction to the sculpture has been overwhelmingly positive.