Emii Alrai
b.1993, Blackpool, Scotland, Leeds

Emii Alrai is an artist and trained museum registrar whose work spans material investigation in relation to memory, critique of the western museological structure and the complexity of ruins. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, her work operates as large-scale realms built in relation to bodies of research which concern archaeology and the natural environments objects are excavated from. Weaving in oral histories, inherited nostalgia and the details of language to question the rigidity of Empire and the power of hierarchy to interpolate the static presence of history. Clay vessels, gypsum forms and steel armatures punctuate the labyrinth-like spaces Alrai creates, mimicking museum dioramas and romanticised visions of the past. 

Contact: emiialrai@gmail.com


2016-2018 University of Leeds, MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies
2011-2016 University of Leeds, BA Fine Art (International)
2014-2015 École Supérieure d’art et de design Marseille-Méditerranée (Erasmus)


2024 A Lake as Great as its Bones, Maximillian William, 2024 *upcoming*
2024 Lithics, Quench Gallery, (Margate) 
2023 Drinkers of the Wind, Time Horizons, Into Nature Biennial (Netherlands) 
2022 Reverse Defense, Workplace Foundation (Newcastle) 
2022 A Core of Scar, Future Collect Commission, The Hepworth Wakefield & iniva (Wakefield) 
2022 The Courtship of Giants, Eastside Projects (Birmingham) 
2021 Deposition LayerThreshold Projects, (Leeds) 
2021 Passing of the Lilies, Jerwood Solo Presentations, Jerwood Arts (London) 
2020 The High Dam, The Tetley (Leeds) 
2019 Tutelaries, VITRINE (London) 
2019 House of Teeming Cattle, Two Queens (Leicester)
2018 An Ancient Quiver, GLOAM Gallery (Sheffield)

Duo Shows

2022 Sutures, Duo show with Eve Tagny, Visual Arts Centre Clarington (Canada) 
2019 Fallow, Duo show with Angus McCrum, The Rectory Projects (London)

Group Shows  

2024 London Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Rooms *current*
2024 An Axis of Abstraction: Art in Cornwall and Yorkshire – Then and Now, Leeds Art Gallery *current*
2024 Thresh(hold),  Ainalaiyn Space & Three Highgate (London)
2024 life-bestowing cadaverous soooooooooooooooooooot, CCA Glasgow 
2023 Drawing Attention: Emerging Artists in Dialogue, British Museum Touring Exhibition, York Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Hartlepool Art Gallery *current*
2023 Ring Ring Ring, PAL Project (Paris)
2023 A Permanent Departure for Nostalgia, A rehearsal on legacy with Zaha Hadid, Contemporary Arts Centre, Cincinnati 
I am Carried Along Down the Stream, Personeelskamer (Amsterdam)
Anchorless Bodies: Navigating Arabic in Medieval Manuscripts With Works by Emii Alrai, curated by E K Myerson, Parker Library (Cambridge)
2023 Leeds Artists Show, Leeds Art Gallery (Leeds)
2023 Magic in this Country: Hepworth, Moore and the Land, The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield) 
And The Mirrors Are Many, curated by Mona Al Jadir, Warehouse 421 (Abu Dhabi) 
breathe, spirit and life 呼吸, 靈魂與生命, curated by Katherine Ka Yi Liu, The Bluecoat (Liverpool)
2022 Exploratory Drawings, Maximillian William (London)
2021 Stories We Tell Ourselves, Curated by Matt Kyba, Foreman Gallery (Sherbrooke), Ottawa School of Art (Ontario), McIntosh Gallery, Western University (Ontario)
2021 Ecdysis, Curated by Hannah Rowan, Assembly Point (London)
2019 Odds, TOMA (Southend)
2017 Eternal Interstice, Ladybeck (Leeds)
2017 Chiens Amers/Bitter Hounds, performance with Blanche Godivier, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Leeds)
2017 The Hum, curated by Tžužjj, Caustic Coastal (Salford)
2017 Limbo Lambada, Hutt Collective (Nottingham)
2016 The Art House Residency Exhibition, The Art House (Wakefield)
2016 FUAM Graduate Art Prize, The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery (Leeds)
2016 Space and Place, Left Bank (Leeds) 
2016 Cinq, Untitled BCN, Barcelona (Spain) 
2015 Entre Autre, Galérie M.A.D (Marseille)

Residencies + Awards + Workshops 

2023 GOG Galleries of Ontario Award, Exhibition of the Year for Sutures
2023 Villa Medici (Italy) 
2023 Lauchpad LaB Spring Residency (France)
2023 Jerwood New Work Fund Award
2023 Frieze Artist Award (Shortlisted)
2021 Sculpture Workshop, Chisenhale Gallery (London)
2021 Creative Fellowship, University of Leicester
2021 In-ruins Residency, Calabria (Italy)
2021 Triangle Astérides Residency, (Marseille) 
2020 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award
2020 Yorkshire Sculpture International Sculpture Network
2019 Yorkshire Sculpture International Engagement Artist (Yorkshire)
2018 The Tetley Artist Associate Programme (Yorkshire) 
2018 Club : Making Matters commission, Yorkshire Sculpture International  (Yorkshire)
2017 Club : Studio bursary, The Art House (Wakefield)
2016 FUAM Graduate Art Prize, The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery (Leeds)
2016 Graduate residency, The Art House (Wakefield) 


2023 A Builders Body,  Practising Hope and Imagination, The Slow Grind
2022 The Texture of the Moon is Silence, Material Poetries : Emii Alrai in response to Simone Fattal & Maggie O’Sullivan, Corridor 8
2021 Commemorative Space edited by Rebecca Senior, Corridor 8
2021 Capture, supported by Triangle Astérides and Fluxus Art Projects, Bruise Magazine
2018 The Sleep, #8 How To Sleep Faster, Arcadia Missa annual publication (London)
2018 The Bone Cruncher, Winter Solstice  https://swan-song.co.uk/

Features + In Conversations

2024 Archival Ghosts : Emii Alrai, Richard Maguire & Hannah Regel, Maximillian William 
2023 Podcast: Emii Alrai & Rolf Blankemeijer, Into Nature
2022 Emii Alrai & Sabrina Henry, Reverse Defence
2022 Emii Alrai & Laurent Oliver, The Archaeological Memory
2020 In Conversation: Griselda Pollock and Emii Alrai, The Tetley 
2020 tofeelclose.com with Eve Tagny, AKA Artist Run https://www.tofeelclose.com/
2020  Podcast: Museums n’That podcast, Emii Alrai Museums n’That
2020 Souq Sounds with Emii Alrai, Sable radio, Souq Sounds
2017 Limbo Lambada x isthisit? https://www.isthisitisthisit.com/limbo-lambada


2023 Review: An Axis of Abstraction: Art in Cornwall and Yorkshire, Yorkshire Post 
2023 Review: A Permanent Nostalgia for Departure, Joey Yan, PIN UP Magazine
2023 Review: Into Nature, Trouw 
2023 Review: Into Nature, Tableau Magazine
2023 Review:  Into Nature, Metropolis M
2023 Review: Magic in this Country, Michael White, The Conversation 
2022 The Year in Review, Frieze
2022 Review : breathe, spirit, life, Katie Shirley, Corridor 8 
2022 Review. : breathe, spirt, life, The Double Negative 
2022 Review : Reverse Defence, Adam Heardman, Art Monthly 
2022 The Magic of Stonehenge, Aimee Farrell, Financial Times
2022 Review : A Core of Scar, Greg Thomas, Art Monthly
2022 Review : A Core of Scar, Beth Williamson Sculpture Magazine
2022 Review: A Core of Scar, Skye Sherwin Art Fund
2022 Stories We Tell Ourselves, Emmanuelle Choquette, Vie des Arts
2021 Writing : Jerwood Solo Presentations by Marek Sullivan, Jerwood Arts 
2021 Interview : Emii Alrai & Flora Fettah, Bruise Magazine 

2021 Interview : Emii Alrai & Alexia Abed, Manifesto XXI 

2020 Review : Emii Alrai, The High Dam, Holly Grange, Corridor 8
2020 tofeelclose AKA, akimbo

2020 Review : Emii Alrai The High Dam, Molly the Art History Girl 

2020 Review : Emii Alrai, The High Dam, The White Pube

2019 Interview : Emii Alrai, YAC |Young Artists in Conversation

2019 Tutelaries : Top 7 Art Exhibitions to See in London, FAD Magazine

2019 Tutelaries, Angélica Fajardo, Corridor 8

2019 Tutelaries, Naila Scargill, Trebuchet Magazine

2019 Tetley Artist Associate Programme, University of Leeds


Co-Founder and organiser of Nocturne (2016-2019)
2017-19 Member of Club