FROM FIGURE TO ABSTRACTION
Asian Art News
‘Her art speaks not of a single Asian religious, artistic, or cultural influence, but of many.’
While one may look to a variety of secular, religious, and multicultural influences that have permeated her canvases since she began painting, there is one influence that has maintained, in one form or another, and that is the influence of the charcoal line with which she began her earliest work in Nepal, where she lived between 1987 and 1992.
The figuration contained within an abstract framework increases the sense of human anonymity, a sense of the mysterious, of ethereal stillness in which the figure exists.
OUT OF THE BLUE
In the canvases of Out of the Blue, the artist has chosen among other traumatic and tragic events, the Tsunami the eruption under the ocean off the island of Sumatra in Indonesia archipelago, which sent waves of huge power and magnitude to the shores of Sri Lanka and India together with all the neighbouring countries with lethal human and devastating material consequences. In this, the most terrible of natural disasters in living memory, uncountable thousands died and perhaps an even greater number were left in life threatening circumstances.
“In one vertical canvas entitled A Momentous Day across the top of the painting sunshine glows yellow, then it is suddenly obliterated by the glittering monstrous swell of a turbulent sea crossing the picture and taking up a third of its area; and below, about to be destroyed in the massive movement of the water, the suggested simple façade of lit windows of an ordinary Asian street now in its final moment before obliteration.”
In Out of the Blue series of paintings the artist is concerned with several other traumatic events which took place in 2005, variously reported in the media, the July bombing of a train in London’s underground, the killing of a young boy which she entitled “I’m OK” reportedly his last words as he lay dying.
Her intention in all those works is to consider how in paintings such events can be made to convey something of our reactions to them. How deeply and in what kind of way do we become involved?
Dr Elena Bernardini
In Seraphim Angeli continues her existential reflections on impermanence and change, fragility and transformation while bringing her formal explorations to further extremes
Wishing to engage with a surface half consumed by fire has led her to adopt a smaller scale and work layering charred canvas upon canvases as if they were sheets of paper. The results were three series of an intimate and introspective nature characterised by a most delicate and precious materiality.
Sowani is an artist who has travelled and she surely has learnt that images always travel a little further. Born out of differences and specificities, which remain so important in many aspects of our lives, images can also run loose suggesting new links and connections. Sowani has taken us onto some of these unexpected journeys. Inner worlds, sunscapes, earthscapes, and waterscapes: her works, are flesh of the world, yet transform it anew.