4 Garden Walk | London | EC2A 3EQ
10am – 9pm | 24.03.22 – 28.03.22
Private View | 6 - 9pm | 24.03.22
Artist Closing Q&A | 7 – 8:30pm | 28.03.22
By SUHAYLAH H.
Brushes with Greatness presents Apparitions, a solo exhibtion by Trinidadian British artist Suhaylah H.
Apparitions not only refers to the ghostly figures and birds within Suhaylah’s paintings, but the mystical environments they inhabit. Existence flourishes in the space between the spiritual and the corporeal, anchored in naturalistic scenes laden with merging trees, pools, brush and waterfalls. Her vastly changing palettes, spectral figures and leading titles conjure the cycles ever-present within her harmonious renditions of natural order.
Suhaylah presents a visceral exploration into the seasonal journeys of this life and the next. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter; birth, play, seeking, death, entombment, resurrection. These journeys are universally levelling, no matter their perceived grandeur. Growing stronger, wilting, returning.
The seasons of life and death have a strong relationship with elements of the natural world. Clay, in many mythologies, being the substance from which human life was formed; the practice of lowering the deceased body into the ground and covering it with soil as if planting a seed; the planting of trees, flowers, gardens to memorialise those departed who now continue their journeys in another world.
Suhaylah suggests ideas of the physical form being laid to rest while the spirit travels on. The corporeal disintegrating and reintegrating with the earth, the soil, the plants. Meanwhile, the spirit continues its pathway into another pool of life.
The exhibition is supported by a film – abstractly comprising footage of Suhaylah’s nature walks and exhibition evolution – backed by an original composition for an intensely immersive journey through the space, intended to compel viewers to engage Apparitions in a multi-sensory, spiritually inquisitive manner.
Apparitions concludes with a three-panelled Triptych, To Whom We Belong, reaching beyond its boundaries into the physical realm through a houseplant installation by Elm London. Evocative of Lovelock’s Gaia Theory and as with most of this body of work, the significance of rich, natural life in this triptych is about illuminating the irrevocable ties between our mortality and our spirituality with nature. Our physical forms sustained by it, eventually becoming it. Our spirits moved and compelled by it, often calling us back to something distant, but essentially part of us.