Painting | Drawing
Though dabbling in everything from figuration to total abstraction, Suhaylah H is consistently drawn back to landscapes as a means of exploring the connection between material and immaterial worlds. Her studies in Environmental Geography and Comparative Literature at university fuelled her obsession with the intersection of landscape and symbolism.
Suhaylah is fond of the term dreamscapes frequently given to her art, especially as she often references scenes or ideas from her dreams. Yet she strives for a perhaps paradoxical lucidity she thinks is necessary to make the ethereal believable:
"It’s a funny thing to draw shapes that exude a passion for movement while inevitably betraying their own stillness by virtue of being flat. In the end, it’s about being able to look at an image thinking you’re forever on the cusp of something you can’t quite reach, nevertheless being utterly encompassed, allowing yourself to experience whatever it is that occurs when the supposed boundaries of all things corporeal and intangible vanish."
Birds that aren’t birds, trees that hang down to transform into pools of water, rocks whose reflections are more real than they are, phantoms that connect your eyes to the plants.
The gestures and materials Suhaylah uses in drawing & painting go a long way to maintaining this state of mind/space. It's a subtle creative balance, using the immediacy and density of oil pastels to bring about something ruminative and fluid.
Suhaylah studied a BA in Liberal Arts (Major in Environmental Geography, Minor in Comparative Literature) followed by an MA in Comparative Literature at King's College London. Suhaylah sold out both her first London group exhibition in 2021, and her first solo exhibition Apparitions April 2022 with BWG Gallery.