Michaelis alumni Shakil Solanki’s second solo presentation ‘The Pearl Fishers’ at WHATIFTHEWORLD
On this occasion, the artist engages in a sensuous reimagining of Georges Bizet’s 19th Century opera, ‘The Pearl Fishers’, through a new series of poignant gouache paintings. The opera is originally set in ancient Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) and centres around a tragic love triangle which unfolds between the three main characters: two fishermen who swear undying friendship and loyalty to one another before being torn asunder by the arrival of a veiled priestess with whom (in the original story) both men fall in love.
Drawing inspiration from the lush scenes enclosed in ornamental borders found in classical Indian and Persian miniatures, Solanki has developed a distinctive visual language which combines the aesthetic qualities of the paradisiacal gardens deeply-rooted in his cultural memory, along with the sensual and often turbulent emotions associated with sex and desire. With ‘The Pearl Fishers’, the creative vitality of Solanki’s secret gardens enveloped in myth and metaphor remains clearly intact, yet the setting shifts to the waves and ripples of an infinite ocean.
Read more about the exhibition here