The Mosaic Rooms

The Mosaic Rooms Gallery, London

The Mosaic Rooms are an art gallery and bookshop in West London showcasing contemporary culture from and connected to the Arab World.

Our varied programme includes art and design exhibitions, film screenings, literary events, talks, performances and supper clubs. We work in partnership with leading cultural institutions and are proud to have been a part of London wide festivals such as Shubbak, Nour, London Design Festival and more. Admission to all of our exhibitions is FREE, as are most of our events. See what's coming up here:

Event Hire: The Mosaic Rooms is available to hire for business meetings and a wide range of arts, corporate and private events. Find out about hiring The Mosaic Rooms here:

The Mosaic Rooms Bookshop stocks celebrated and new writers from the Arab World, art books, and films, in both English and Arabic. Pop in during your visit or browse and buy titles online here:

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Opening Times: Our exhibitions are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm.

Admission charges

All of our exhibitions and many of our events are FREE.

Getting there

We are located on the junction of Earls Court Road and Cromwell Road, just 5 minutes walk from Earl's Court station (Earls Court Road exit). Plan your visit here:

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Hajra Waheed

Sea Change – Chapter 1: Character 1, In the Rough

  • 11 March — 21 May 2016 *on now

This visual novel is dedicated to reclaiming a sense of the intimate, the personal and the poetic from the consequences of regional development, political upheaval, and civil conflict. Through the unfolding narratives of nine individual characters who have disappeared over nine chapters, this ambitious multimedia work aims to engage the viewer in an active sense of looking for the individual story amidst the mass, in turn reflecting on the reductive value of the media’s portrayal of contemporary crisis, particularly in terms of migration.

The exhibition, Sea Change – Chapter 1: Character 1, In the Rough features a series of works that reveal the journey of an individual on a quest to find quartz crystals buried amongst rock. The viewer wanders through the works in the exhibition, looking at the details of this character’s field notes, cut photographs, co-ordinates of unknown places, painted and drawn geographies of sea and geology. The viewer is left questioning whether the story and these materials are autobiography or fiction, or lie somewhere in between. In turn Waheed is drawing us to a wider questioning of the acceptance of presented information as truth, in the context of media, politics and historical representations.

Chapter 1 is composed of interspersed archival and newly-created visual material. The archival imagery was directly sourced from a large deck of 1930-40s photographic postcards, which depict an Orientalised view of people and places in the Global South. These collected materials and imagined representations allow new stories to be constructed. The meaning of the project’s title becomes not only about these characters’ personal voyages of transformation, but material alteration as well.

Character 1’s search remains a reflection on the possibilities of discovery. The immersive visual diary and installation reflects on loss and being lost, of attempting to discover a way towards a destination. As the viewer travels alongside the character it is clear this sought destination is not merely physical or material, but an imagined space that embodies notions of hope, promise and belonging. Underlying all the works in the exhibition is this lingering sense of love and longing.

Hajra Waheed’s oeuvre seeks to address personal, national and cultural identity formation in relation to political history, popular imagination and the broad impact of colonial power globally. Her mixed-media practice consists of ongoing bodies of work that constitute a growing personal archive – one developed in response to all those seemingly lost amongst rapid regional development and/or political strife. Although works on paper remain the foundation of her practice, they often act as starting points for larger mixed media installations. Over the last decade, Waheed has participated in exhibitions worldwide, most recently including: Still Against the Sky, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); La Biennale de Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2014); Sea Change, Experimenter, Kolkata (2013); (In) the First Circle, Antoni Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona and Lines of Control, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, NY (2012). Recipient of the prestigious 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement as a Canadian mid-career visual artist, her works can be found in a number of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the British Museum, London, the Burger Collection, Hong Kong and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi. She lives and works in Montréal.

The Mosaic Rooms exhibition coincides with Waheed’s first institutional UK solo exhibition at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (until 30 May 2016)




Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Yazz Ahmed

Concert: Yazz Ahmed Quartet performs Alhaan Al Siduri

  • 5 May 2016 8-10pm *on now

Until the discovery of oil in Bahrain in 1932, the pearl diving industry was the main economic activity on the island. Each of the boats employed a professional singer or ‘nahh?m’ who took no part in the work of pearl fishing or sailing but exclusively encouraged the workforce in their various tasks with appropriate songs. Not all of the songs were meant to accompany strenuous activity. They often speak of loneliness, melancholy, of yearning, sighing for the beloved waiting on the shore. Since the decline of the Pearl industry, due to the invention of cheaper, cultured pearls, there are no longer any working pearl boats on Bahrain. However the music has survived and become closely associated with Bahraini national identity.

Alhaan Al Siduri written by the award-winning British-Bahraini composer and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed and performed by Yazz’ band. The piece was commissioned by Birmingham Jazzlines as part of their fellowship scheme. Siduri is a character mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, she is a goddess of the Gulf that lives on an island at the edge of the sea. Yazz describes the piece as “a combination of fragments of traditional Bahraini songs, translated into English and my own daydreams, musings on my homeland, written in this melancholy style”.

Tickets: £10. Book now or

Please ensure you arrive on time as latecomers’ tickets may be reallocated.




mosaic rooms

Space and Memory in the War-Torn City

  • 18 May 2016 6:30-8:30pm

Through the films, we enter the physical and mental landscape of the city, along with the shifting social relationships that accompany such urban transformations. Often the city is a character in its own right, with stories to tell about everyday experiences during turbulent events or the haunting legacy of past wars. The films offer complex and nuanced perspectives generally unavailable in mainstream media reporting of conflict in the Arab world.

Films featured include:

Promenade, Sabine El Chamaa (Lebanon, 2009)
During a war, an elderly woman goes to her own destroyed house and picks one stone at a time, to bring back with her pieces from the walls in her house, which she rebuilds, secretly, in her new room.

Suleima, Jalal Maghout (Syria/Lebanon, 2014)
This animated documentary is derived from the true story of a woman from Damascus. It conjures up Suleima’s memories of childhood, when she was first stirred to resist injustice, and shows the shifting social relationships she experiences during the uprising. It is also a visionary portrait of the city: a haunting mixture of the real and imaginary.

This is the first event in the The Mosaic Rooms’ series Crisis and Creativity: A Season of Contemporary Films from and about the Arab World curated by Shohini Chaudhuri.

Shohini Chaudhuri is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. Her publications include Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship (2014) and Contemporary World Cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia (2005).





Talk: Patriotism and Dissent in the Global South

  • 19 May 2016 7-9pm

Space for dissent closes rapidly in several major countries of the Global South – whether by military coups (as in Egypt and Thailand) or by use of sedition and anti-terrorism laws to arrests dissidents (as in India and Turkey). Authoritarianism rises in these states, whose managers have no answers to the pressing problems of their societies. The answer to inequality is social suffocation – whether in terms of the attack on women’s rights (ending reproductive freedom in Turkey or the revival of the khap panchayats in northern India) or putting pressure on social minorities (Kurds in Turkey, Muslims in India). But this attack by the ruling regimes has provoked the revival of cultures of resistance, and has put on the table the question of solidarity.

Vijay Prashad, who teaches at Trinity College (USA), is a journalist for Frontline (India), BirGün (Turkey), al-Araby al-Jadeed and Alternet. He is the author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (2007) and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (2013). His most recent book is an edited collection, Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation (Verso, 2015). He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi).

Pankaj Mishra, who received the 2014 Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction, is the author most recently of A Great Clamour: Encounters with China and Its Neighbours (2013) and From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia (2012). His novel, The Romantics, won the 2000 Art Seidenbaum award for Best First Fiction.




mosaic rooms

In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain

  • 3 June — 20 August 2016

The exhibition will include the new video piece In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain., 20-minute science fiction video essay, and series of photographs, depicting subtly manipulated scenes from Palestinian history which are then intermingled with newly shot footage of post-apocalyptic landscapes and sci-fi characters. A futuristic female protagonist narrates her journey into the past where she plants evidence that will launch a myth to support any future claims to the vanishing lands of her people.

This and other works in the exhibition are inspired by the politicised archaeology carried out in present day Israel/Palestine. In the absence of any real peace process, archaeology has become the latest battleground for settling land disputes. Unearthed history is used as arguments for rightful ownership of the land today. Sansour’s work presents myth masqueraded as truth, fiction as fact and artifice as evidence. It highlights the flimsy nature of these absolute concepts when hijacked for use as tools in the contemporary Palestine/Israel conflict.

Larissa Sansour (b. 1973) was born in Jerusalem and studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York. She has exhibited internationally, including at Tate Modern, London; Brooklyn Museum, NYC; Centre Pompidou, Paris. Sansour is represented by Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, Sabrina Amrani in Madrid and Montoro12 Contemporary Art in Rome.




Getting there

We are located on the junction of Earls Court Road and Cromwell Road, just 5 minutes walk from Earl's Court station (Earls Court Road exit). Plan your visit here:

The Mosaic Rooms
226 Cromwell Road
Greater London




020 7370 9990

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.