Quarantine Studies by Zahrah

posted in: PAST EXHIBITION | 0
  Artist Statement: After completing my studies at Glasgow School of Art, I left Scotland to travel before returning to Indonesia. It is during that time I found myself indulging in reading books on philosophy and aesthetics which later influenced my artistic practice during the first lockdown in 2020. After I returned to Indonesia and having experienced art education in Scotland where I felt a strong hostility towards the dominant dogma of contemporary art education, that art should be a form of transgression, it is during the pandemic that I was craving for something more authentic, finding solace in the little things like nature. I began to develop a new language for the art that I believe in. And it is during the first lockdown that I took comfort in exploring this which is presented under this exhibition ‘Quarantine studies’. I took inspiration from my daily experience walking in early mornings in Dago and my studio setting that is set out in the garden surrounded by tropical vegetation as well as a reminiscent of my time observing and exploring the majestic view of the Scottish Highlands. The paintings titled ‘plant I’, ‘plant II’, and ‘In the garden’ are inspired by my surroundings. I use various shades of green for my painting, it is due to the clear tranquil quality that this colour green endows which makes it a natural choice of colour theme in my painting. This also resonates with my experience walking in nature during my time in Scotland. It is something that I would hope the viewers can experience as they stand in front of my paintings. Enjoying the inward silence, a contemplative experience of nature.   My latest piece, titled ‘father’ is a study of my father who recently suffered a stroke. Through the experience of spending the majority of my time with him as he requires full care I got to understand him better. The outcome of this painting is a reflection of who he is and our relationship through my lens. ‘Somewhere I have never been’ is a painting that I am yet to explore the possibility of where this may take me to. Inspired by the Austrian artist Egon Schiele’s decorative and stylistic landscape painting in particular ‘Setting Sun’ (1913), I took his compositional idea and bold outlines by using a slightly raised painting material. The colour green is an introduction to the natural landscape, contrasted with the vibrant pink as a suggestion of an artificial reality, a romantic memory inviting the viewer into a dream-like landscape of their own. My philosophy for art has been greatly influenced by the work of an English philosopher Roger Scruton (1944 -2020), whose writings extend from aesthetic to political philosophy. He believes that art is a crucial form in presenting the image of a human life, as a confirmation to our convictions through visual experience. That life in this world is meaningful and art provides the means of restoring a moral equilibrium in ourselves. He believes in the importance of beauty as the most basic aspect of human nature which guides us to find this world a place of belonging coming to rest in harmony with others and with ourselves. I have been inspired ever since to create paintings that hold these values. I hope this exhibition can give limitless possibilities of interpretation to the viewers that life is a journey worth documenting and celebrating. I hope it can evoke an emotional response, that even in the darkest time we can look at our surroundings to find beauty and a home in this world. And through beauty may we find consolation in sorrow and affirmation in joy. Zahrah   https://issuu.com/orbitaldago/docs/ekatalog_zahra

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