Muslim artist, Sarah Maple has been criticized in the past for how she depicts her religion in her work, but her latest exhibition in London has triggered a new wave of intimidation, death threats and even violence.
Since putting the 23-year-old’s exhibit on display on Oct. 16, SaLon gallery in Notting Hill has received a string of violent emails and phone calls about the artist and her family, according to the British Broadcasting Company.
Maple’s exhibit is filled with controversial self-portraits of the artist wearing a headscarf posing in provocative ways, the BBC reported. In one painting she also bares a breast.
But gallery owners believe it was a painting of the artist in a headscarf holding a pig that triggered the violence, according to the BBC.
Ejaz Aslam of the Muslim Cultural Center told the BBC, the contrast of those two images is “highly offensive” to Muslims.
Maple told the network, “I just want to make valid points about East and West cultures and whether we can combine the two successfully.”
The gallery itself was also targeted when woman wearing a burka threatened gallery workers earlier this week, and again when the glass front of the gallery was smashed on Tuesday, the London Telegraph reported. SaLon has since enlisted 24-hour police protection.
The gallery plans to keep the exhibit until its scheduled end on Nov. 16, the BBC reported.