showcasing a selection of paintings and mixed media collages, created during this period, at her “Young Artist in Residency Graduation Exhibition”. A recreation of her studio, featuring sketches, studies for paintings and earlier work, is also part of the exhibition.
Bahjat’s style is expressionist, and her work is figurative, mostly based on self-portraits. For the young artist, this show marks a point when she could break free from the rules and restrictions she had to follow as an arts student and experiment with new techniques and themes to discover herself as an artist.
Noor Bahjat’s works from detailed sketches and self-portraits in a painterly, expressionist style and with a primarily figurative subject matter. Skillfully transitioning between warm and cool palettes Bahjat creates deeply atmospheric canvases infused with reoccurring, symbolic objects. Influenced by postwar artists such as Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon, the artist captures the most inane of human actions and elevates them to deeply compelling, intimate portrayals focused on the body as it undergoes transformation within the confined space of the composition. Deviating from her painting practice, experiments with collage and mixed media reveal new and dynamic developments within the artist’s body of work.
The paintings that form the backbone of her exhibition are figurative works, featuring wide-eyed, haunting portraits that compel the viewer to respond. Some feature women in black surrounding a table full of sinister objects such as a skull and an upturned globe. In others, the figures have animal skulls for heads.
All are full of heavy texture, achieved by thickly applying paint and then scraping it off.
Young Artist in Residency Graduation Exhibition
3 August – 22 September 2015
Curated by: Jules Riechelman