15 May – 23 Jun 2019
NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula’s cultural platform showcasing cutting edge design, art and fashion exhibitors, announces award-winning Pakistani visual artist Sara Shakeel as this year’s Young Artist Commission. Available to view for free from 15th May – 23rd June, this annual commission from NOW Gallery celebrates the best rising talent in the fields of visual arts and illustration, with previous commissions including Hattie Stewart, the popular London illustrator.
The Great Supper will be Shakeel’s most ambitious project to date and her first UK exhibition. Having gained notoriety for ‘breaking the internet’ multiple times on Instagram via her works, the dentist-turned-artist is renowned for conveying human emotions through striking and stylish collage works, rendering landscapes and portraits, to create alluring digital, and more currently, three-dimensional crystal works. For this particular piece, commissioned by NOW Gallery cultural curator Kaia Charles, The Great Supper will see Shakeel transform the gallery space into a three-dimensional theatrical banqueting scene saturated with glass crystals.
The elaborate dining room will express a subversive, witty dialogue through sculptural form and will explore and celebrate the significance of the family table through the decorative use of crystals. For the first time, NOW Gallery will be in darkness with restricted daylight, with a largescale spotlight shining down upon a raised platform displaying the long dining table adorned with crystal embellishments. On the table will sit the perfect family meal, with the traditional Sunday roast coated in the same gems.
Sparking conversations around food, family ties and ultimately the perceived value of banal and ‘ordinary’ objects, Sara Shakeel’s The Great Supper invites visitors to observe the simpler pleasures in life. In today’s world that is so consumed by technology, visitors will be reminded to reflect on precious moments and memories without striving for materialism.
On the announcement of being appointed NOW Gallery’s Young Artist collaborator Sara Shakeel, said: “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to bring my work to London this year. The concept behind my work is to create a space we can all recognise as being constant and safe throughout our lives. For many, this is the dinner table.
“At a young age, we may have dared to dream and imagine of the beauty the world can hold while enjoying a delicious meal prepared by our parents and as we’ve grown older, this is a place where we may make important decisions while watching our children grow. For me, sitting across the dinner table every day, zoning in and out of the conversations and submerging into my world of creativity is part of who I am today.”
Kaia Charles, Cultural Curator at NOW Gallery, commented: “We are thrilled to announce Sara as this year’s Young Artist Commission and welcome her to NOW Gallery. With today’s cultural landscape constantly changing and there being such popularity in the likes of other platforms to consume art, including Instagram and Pinterest as examples, it’s hugely exciting for us to showcase the work of a digi-art sensation by means of a physical exhibition. Sara has captured the concept of celebrating precious life moments perfectly in a striking, beautiful composition and we look forward to inviting visitors to enjoy and experience.”
The Great Supper is the second commission for the NOW Gallery Young Artist programme, which is designed to work with artists who have an unusual approach and standout visual aesthetic, providing them with a new platform to showcase their work and create a unique vision for the gallery space. As part of the on-going regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, this programme underpins the area’s commitment to fostering creativity to build a sense of community, offering a blank canvas that allows those who visit and settle a chance to image, create and build; an opportunity to create a new London.