PRESS RELEASE: “Hortus Arcanus”, A Solo Exhibition by Simrin Mehra Agarwal
ALSERKAL LATES: 22 March 2021, 4pm – 9pm
EXHIBITION DATES: 23 March – 30 April 2021
GALLERY TIMINGS: Saturday – Thursday, 10am – 7pm
VENUE: 1X1 Art Gallery, Unit 10, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE
The exhibition titled ‘Hortus Arcanus’, by Simrin Mehra Agarwal presents a new body of extremely detailed, large-scale drawings that create immersive environments. Her solo show opens at 1x1 Art Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai on the 22nd of March 2021 during Alserkal Lates. The project is supported by the scholarship / financial grant towards research and production by the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi and the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. The works were created during the six-month long Cultural Foundation Art Residency, 2020.
Simrin Mehra Agarwal’s research focuses on concepts of nature, its growth and regeneration and the artificial. In ‘Hortus Arcanus’ (‘Secret Garden’ in Latin), Simrin investigates the liminal state in nature, which is the time in limbo between destruction and rebirth when creation takes place in the utmost secrecy. Botanical forms take over man-made structures through mysterious processes, transforming inanimate objects into living organic forms pulsating with life and forming interesting hybrids. Simrin looks into the processes of growth, maturity, decay and dissipation within which occur complex structures, patterns and fractals.
The artist draws her inspiration from her childhood in the politically charged, densely forested district of Jhargram in West Bengal, eastern India. It is an environment with a multitude of rare vegetal species neighboring an old and uncanny Second World War air base anchoring abandoned machinery.
Using drawing, carving and relief on paper, wood and plaster, Simrin creates very detailed forms and complex compositions where she meticulously scrutinizes, dissects and de-constructs every detail and looks deeper into various layers and surfaces for hidden meaning and links.