Meet the artist: Anmar Mirza

June 12, 2018

 

A new World Cup is about to start and to celebrate the occasion, we've curated an exhibition at the Norwich Arts Centre to run alongside the showpiece tournament in Russia.

The artwork on display celebrates memorable and iconic moments from World Cup history as seen through the eyes of a collection of artists, designers and illustrators. We caught up with Norwich-based artist Anmar Mirza to talk us through his piece.

 
 
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Patterns of Play:

What does the World Cup mean to you? 

 

Anmar Mirza:

Well it's a pretty big deal, a bit like the Olympics for example. People from all forms of life unite and get sucked in by it all. It's great to watch and gives me a great excuse for when I'm late or forget to be somewhere. "Oh sorry mate, was watching the game"... haha!

 
 
 
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POP:

Which was the first World Cup tournament you remember watching?

 

AM:

It was in 2002, Brazil vs England. I got to have a lay in and miss the first half of school to watch the game. Remember being sat in the kitchen with my folks watching Ronalindho dink that freekick past Seaman. Then having to run to school in time for the lunch break to play footy with the boys. Ah, life was so great back then!

 

POP:

Who’s been your favourite ever World Cup player to watch? 

 

AM:

Ronaldo de Lima in 2002. Blimey, what a player he was and that hair cut too! Nutter, absolute nutter.

 
 
 
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POP:

Explain more about the World Cup memory your piece refers to and why you chose this? 

 

AM:

I was just a little kid in 1998. I didn't really know what football was, so I don't remember much apart from seeing the jerseys on TV. It was some time later when I saw a documentary on Ronaldo de Lima and the story of him at that World Cup inspired me to create this piece. It shows him running rings around a bunch of Holland defenders during the semi-finals. His dribbling skills were insane!

 
 
 
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POP:

How do you think England will get on at Russia 2018? 

 

AM:

Yeah, I reckon they've got a good chance. It's the first time in a long while where we've got a team who actually want to play for each other.

 

POP:

Where will you watch the games? 

 

AM:

In my studio, painting with the footy on in the background. Lovely, just lovely!

 
 
 
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You can see Anmar's piece at our World Cup exhibition, on display at the Norwich Arts Centre throughout the duration of the tournament in Russia. They are also showing live screenings of the England games in the auditorium, so a perfect excuse to come along and see the show!