By Wilfred Clarke
(In London – United Kingdom)
As the world keeps evolving and revolving with its advantages and disadvantages, there are some people who have taken it upon themselves to help solve the world’s global warming.
And one of such people is a leading personality from the north of Africa, Morocco to be precise. In her first solo gallery exhibition in London (UK) at Sulger Buel Gallery, the acclaimed Moroccan artist, Ghizlane Sahli has done her work by utilising some remarkable understanding of space and form to present series of three dimensional bas-reliefs.
Combining both drawings and sculpture in the exhibition, she challenges art patrons on an inner and organic minefield fused with a universal theme. And she believes this imagination allows the viewer to transcend what would normally exempt humans from seeing “Universality” and its complex and sophisticated mechanism.
Looking upon her work of art, one can detect a certain sense of inclusion that behoves on everything she encounters on her journey to either drawing or sculpturing. Ghizlane Sahli’s philosophy seems not to claim or condemn anything. To her, ‘belonging’ is a fragmented prison, and identity, a notion far too complex to confine or freeze without risking alienation.
In this light, she consciously sees and takes substitution and the exploration of what is most fundamental and common to humanity, in its primitive origin. The cleaning of all the stigmas that make a distinction or belonging, with regards to factors such as culture, society, religion, geographical, race or gender is her focus.
Being trained formally as an architect in Paris, Ghizlane Sahli uses a technique to shape, arrange and physically present in space by creating abstract assemblages of individual concave elements that together harmonise into groupings that evoke the organic, while bearing no direct comparison or model in nature itself.
The components that make up her work at the exhibition stand proud from their flat base on the tops of recycled plastic bottles, meticulously enrobed in silk thread. And this gives each texture, lustre and an optical quality that varies depending on the viewer’s position and the light conditions in which they are seen.
The shimmering, jewel-like constructions, speak of the transformative power, which is a concern for the environment. This idea is coupled with a technical mastery of material and deep understanding of the workings of shape and form in space, which can evoke both the artist and the viewer alike.
In a dialogue Ghizlane said: “This work is the exploration of the human body. Each artwork is zoomed into different parts of the body. “I have seen thousands of parts of the body, and having those images in my mind, I have tried to express them through my work.”
As a daring artist who is embarking on her very first solo exhibition, she is leaving no stone or fabric unturned, saying: “I needed to explore a universal subject: to which we are all connected regardless of the notions of education, religion, gender or society.
Choosing one out of all the metaphors there are, she said: “The human body was the best metaphor I could find, and through it, I wanted to work on emotion.” Alluding to some omnipotent or a certain supremacy above human understanding she emphasized that: “I always have that idea in mind, of a big hand taking the human body and shaking it ‘clean’ from all the ‘pollutions’ brought by education, religion or society and keeping just the core of it.
“The pure part is the part that I want to show as a tribute to our body.” She concludes. One amazing piece of her work is the addition of a characteristic ‘heart’ free-standing sculpture and a series of drawings in a symbolic unification of the mind, body and soul.
This exhibition is imminent in offering some London-based patrons of African art, an opportunity and scope to see a fresh and exciting new voice in the continent’s constellation of up-and-coming contemporary artists.
Simply or arguably the world and its environment is ecologically and drastically changed these days due to the gradual or rampant increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere by some human activities.
This situation is generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by the world’s increase levels of carbon dioxide and some other pollutants. Asked as to whether she is intentionally changing the world through the usage of reliable materials, the ever-smiling Ghizlane Sahli replied: “If my effort is truly saving the world then fine.”
Aptly titled Histoires de Tripes Charpter II, Ghizlane Sahli’s art at the exhibition ranges from four hundred and fifty to fourteen thousand nine hundred pounds, showing at Sulger Buel Gallery in London.
Photos: Aaron Akrong