Pakistani-American contemporary multidisciplinary artist Anila Quayyum Agha showcases two stunning and thought-provoking sculptures in her new exhibition at Kew.
Agha is known for her award-winning, immersive light installations. Bridging modern and traditional materials with historic and contemporary meanings, her work weaves together complex themes of global politics, social and gender roles, and mass media while simultaneously creating a contemplative, welcoming space that draws you in.
All the Flowers Are for Me is a spectacular turquoise 1.5m square steel cube, laser-cut with elaborate South and Central Asian patterns of flowers and plants, all suspended from the gallery ceiling. Bright lights inside the cube throw intricate shadows onto the deep orange walls. The shadows fall on visitors, making them part of the artwork.
Beautifully crafted and conceptually poignant, All The Flowers Are For Me sheds new light on Agha’s awe-inspiring art.
Premiering in the UK here at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Stolen moment bouquet I and II is a wall-mounted piece constructed from mirrored stainless steel. This brand new piece is inspired by the botanical artist Albrecht Dürer’s watercolour painting Great piece of turf, which depicts a variety of wild plants in meticulous detail.
Created over 500 years after Dürer’s piece, Stolen moment bouquet I and II demonstrates the constant evolution of botanical art forms, and highlights how traditional botanical painting remains a source of inspiration for contemporary art.
With contemplation being an integral part of art, Anila mentions, “I invite people to take the time to pause and reflect on the themes of the art pieces during their time in the gallery.
All The Flowers Are For Me and Plants Of The Qur’an are on show until September 17. Admission to the exhibition is included in a ticket to Kew Gardens. Book tickets here.