Ako Zada (he/him) is a Glasgow based multi-disciplinary artist originally from Iraqi Kurdistan who arrived in Scotland as a refugee in 2011. He has studied paper making, pottery, photography and printmaking and integrates these techniques with his community work supporting refugees and the Kurdish community in Glasgow.   

In 2022 Ako experienced a sudden, life threatening illness which had a long and gruelling recovery. He has used art throughout his illness and recovery to express himself and process his experience. This deepened and expanded his understanding of how creativity helps individuals to deal with difficult emotions and trauma. 

“I have always used art and creative practices to express myself and I was surrounded by a strong tradition of poetry and song. But the political and social conditions in Iraqi Kurdistan during the 80s and 90s did not allow me to focus on or develop my creativity.” 

Landscapes & Horizons is a new fully funded group residency for five Scotland-based artists and cultural practitioners, open to people aged over 40, from refugee and other migrant backgrounds. Hosted by Cove Park in collaboration with Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, and Cross Borders at Scottish Refugee Council.

Image provided by the artist.