Shakil Solanki's work is characterised by its overlapping themes and approaches; the shared shade of blue appearing in both a monotype and a silkscreen, the particular gold of the paper used in a chine collé repeating in the hand-colouring of an offset lithograph. In this work, The crisis of engulfment (A Lover's Discourse), Shakil's bound prints create a book that serves as a manifesto for his Fine Art graduate show in 2020. Demonstrating his proficiency with specialised printmaking techniques – such as chine collé, where a piece of tissue paper or a gold leaf is carefully applied to a print – the work exemplifies the artist’s distinctive subjects and technical skill. Finished with gold string, The crisis of engulfment offers a chance to see the connections between Shakil’s prints up close; the delicacy of his lines rewarding careful looking.
34 x 46cm | mixed media object/book – offset lithograph and silkscreen print with chine collé finish | unique
“My earliest memories,” Shakil Solanki (b.1997) recalls, “are of a deep fascination for vibrant, glittering sari fabrics, delicately embellished statuettes of the Hindu deities, and their richly illustrated mythology books which were bought for me by my mother. These visual tropes have endured, now re-emerging in the aesthetics of my work.” Characterised by filigreed floral motifs and shades of blue, Shakil’s work explores forbidden love, lust, queer romance. His scenes are more often set in an allegorical garden at night; his figures faceless and ambiguous. The artist’s paintings, prints and drawings find inspiration in Indian and Persian miniatures, the bodies of David Hockney, the blues of Derek Jarman, and the words of Roland Barthes, among others.