Opening Reception: October 22, 2022
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Tanzara Gallery, Islamabad
Exhibition continues until 02 October 2022 (Mon - Sat | 11:30 am - 7:00 pm)
This year the autumnal equinox falls on the 22nd of September, the very day Shakil Saigol’s new exhibition ‘Dreams in an Autumnal Equinox’ opens in Islamabad. During an autumn equinox the daylight hours and the period after nightfall are of exactly the same length due to the course of the sun over the earth’s Equator. It becomes a time for the waking hours and the hours when we sleep to blur together, infusing all reality with a dreamlike substance, and reinforcing our dreams with powerful metaphors of daylight reality.
Such is the nature of Saigol’s new work that displays the hallmarks of a reflective, mature artist confronted with the realities of the chaos and turmoil existing in contemporary Pakistan today. His surrealist images and metaphors swirl across pristine white backdrops. The center of his metaphorical universe is the vision of the artist himself, looking through the eyes of sari-draped figures, coldly poised in sombre hues. Gone are the days when the artist’s saris were exuberant with bright oranges, red and striking greens. Instead the autumnal hues of a burnt red, of beiges, browns and greys, are surrounded by his paraphernalia of surrealist metaphors of block and white zebras and grey gymnast-athletes. The gnarled trees on the other hand appear to be in an advanced stage of metamorphosis, growing from the limbs of athletes and from zebra forms, and at times emanating from knotted human hands which bear little resemblance to living humans.
What does all this mean? The autumnal equinox has blurred the realities behind these metaphors and the artist’s universe appears to be undergoing a fundamental process of change. Where his next series of visual surrealist statements will take him is anyone’s guess. The familiar visuals have been rearranged in a deeply aesthetic and new anarchic juxtaposition.
Saigol is deeply immersed within the vortex of an autumnal equinox, half-dreamlike and half-real.