Letitia Gallery presents “Over, Through and Around,” an exhibition of new work by Omani artist Radhika Khimji, who employs a collaged approach to the creation of both her art pieces and her installations.
“The show is about construction and deconstruction, and how we assemble and disassemble images so, when you look at the show, you read the images not just by themselves, but by how they reference each other with what is repeated, and with the difference between the two of them,” Khimji told Selections.
The artist’s works are composed of varying layers, encompassing numerous types of media, including photo-transfer, painting, repetitive mark-making, and knitting – a new discipline for the artist – as well as her signature embellishment of drawing implements used to pierce through the surfaces of her works, here most commonly represented by an embroidering of red thread.
“It was a really comfortable therapy to get this activity to do. I started [knitting] because I needed a backdrop for another drawing, but I had no idea that I would like it this much and I ended up doing so much knitting which is getting a little ridiculous in my studio,” says Khimji, speaking about working with her new medium. “For all of the work, I use materials like papers and wood, which makes work very hard. The knitting gives a softness to the subject… It highlights something underneath it.”
With a deliberately constrained, yet highly evocative visual vocabulary, Khimji invites the viewer share in new experiences. Her new exhibition showcases her intimate portrayals of absent bodies, ambiguous landscapes, and the objects left behind within them.
Pieces like “Somewhat Protruding” and “Crevice” – rendered in oils and gesso on photographic transfer paper – resemble natural spaces in seemingly sparse detail, while also drawing in the viewer’s attention with their intricate, delicate pointillism. Others, such as “Ladder Out Of Reach”, lead the eye beyond the boundaries of the canvass, expanding the scope of the work from the material and into the imaginary.
“I don’t have a current favourite because all the work is read together. I mean, they are separate pieces, but – whenever I feel like choosing one – the other talks to me because they are always bouncing. They are really similar but different. So whenever you ask me which one I choose I keep bouncing between them.”
“Over, Through and Around” runs until May 11th at Letitia Gallery.