“In Dialogue” investigates the influence of social change on the work of Rashid Al Khalifa, Abdulrahim Sharif, Modhir Ahmed and Walid Siti. With their newfound manipulation of their materials, they have in turn responded to the ongoing changes occurring within their external environment. Through a process of self- exploration, their resulting work reflects the effect of sociopolitical change on the artist’s psyche.
This Exhibition presents Rashid Al Khalifa and Walid Siti’s recent work- where they each employ ‘line’ as the basic element of expression. The interplay and delicacy of these linear forms echo the artists desire to break from traditional painting, as well as their consideration of the surface on which materials are used. Their resulting work appears to invite the viewer to question the interplay between background and foreground, where simple strokes and fine lines are just as relevant as the weighty surface and that carries them. Furthermore, we are presented with the gestural and emotionally charged work of Modhir Ahmed and Abdulrahim Sharif; where the often indistinguishable formations resonate the ambiguity of various contemporary social and religious issues that are prevalent today.
RASHID AL KHALIFA
Inspired by current events, Rashid Al Khalifa’s recent work is in a sense a metaphor for the artist himself, each piece reacting differently to the environment in which they are placed; their chrome, lacquered, reflective surface sensitive to the colours, light, objects and people that surround them. Yet, despite their introspective nature, they are also participatory in disposition, inviting the viewer that stands before them to engage in self-reflection.
A selection of work from Walid Siti’s recent touring solo exhibition, ‘Crossing’, reflects the artist’s deeply personal experience crossing treacherous frontiers seeking refuge and better living conditions elsewhere. Images of the mountains of Kurdish Iraq, as well as the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers are combined with aerial shots of the plains of Mesopotamia. In turn, Siti employs repetitive line drawings that float like barbed wire over these images or recreates the sensibility of this arduous journey through installations that appear to be frozen in time.
Modhir Ahmed typically focuses on the language of form- where gestural marks, space and movement are often combined with geometrical forms- resulting in the appearance townscapes or cityscapes. In continuation of this practice and drawn from his “35 years Retrospective” exhibition at Dalarnas Museum, Sweden (2012), Modhir’s two-dimensional figurative work was translated into an installation of cardboard boxes- representing a community ‘in dialogue’. This collection explores the psychological influence of a world that too often develops restrictive walls around the individual, preventing them from understanding their true potential.
In his work, entitled ‘River of Sin’, Abdulrahim Sharif expresses his sentiment towards contemporary social and religious issues. From a distance the imagery appears simply as an expression of colour and gesture, yet upon closer inspection, the paint marks float like figures across the canvas- so dynamic in movement that they seem to be multiplying, reminiscent of cellular mitosis and suggestive of the manner in which social change becomes contagious, permeating all aspects of society.