In Shakil Solanki’s series of, studio fragments become discrete art objects. Removed from their previous lives as process, they offer themselves to be contemplated; submit to an attention for which they were never intended. Their calligraphic marks belie a private seduction in movement and colour – the intimacy of the artist working unseen. Echoed in each edition is the invocation of the intricate detailing that has come to characterise Shakil’s drawings and prints.
70 x 50cm | mixed media on archival paper | 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.