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Angeli Sowani: Vaahan - Grosvenor Vadehra

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION of works by Angeli Sowani, Vaahan, will be on display at Grosvenor Vadehra from November 3 to November 17, 2010.

Often listed as an Indian/British artist, Angeli Sowani was born in 1959 in New Delhi to an English mother and an Indian father and trained as an illustrator and graphic designer at the prestigious National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad in India.

She moved abroad in 1988 to live and paint in Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong and England, each move presenting her with new forms of inspiration.

She talks about “the sight of bloody sacrifices made to deities in Nepal, the Buddhist imagery and use of gold leaf in Thailand and the Ancestor paintings, seals and votive papers burnt in offering to the Gods in Hong Kong.”

More recently, Sowani’s works have been influenced by her move to the UK. A change in tone and colour were noticeable in her first London exhibition, Identity in Abstraction, in 2004. The vibrancy and heat of the orient have been softened, she comments: “I was inspired by the flagstones and the interplay of light and shade in the interior of the cathedrals and the tree-lined streets of Winchester”.

A keen sensitivity to current affairs is also apparent in recent works that make reference to the tsunami in December 2004, the July bombings in London in 2005 and the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, highlighting human reactions to these tragic events.

This multitude of influences and inspiration imbibed from her upbringing and her exposure to ritual and religion in different cultures and countries are pulled together in her works into a harmonious construct of expression and meaning.

This harmony runs like a scarlet thread through the body of works in Vaahan, her second solo show at the Grosvenor-Vadehra gallery, tying it together through the medium of fire.

Through the use of fire she explores and uniquely captures on canvas the duality of its creative and destructive power, its symbolic use both for celebration and sorrow and its mystical ability to transform earthly materials into the immaterial…

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 5.30pm; Saturday: 12pm to 4pm (during exhibitions).

Grosvenor Vadehra, 21 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6PX

Tel: +44 (0)20 7484 7979