when I first saw drawings by the Bangladeshi artist Aklima Iqbal on Instagram, I was blown away and enchanted by her playful way of depicting objects in a painterly manner. I saw how she created wonderful compositions with just a few strokes, colorful post-its and lines of writing, so simple and yet so lovely. I soon learned that Aklima Iqbal also makes “real” objects that are very similar to the drawings, yet three-dimensional.
What I had initially seen here were excerpts from one of the diaries she has kept since the lockdown. When she was studying in Poland before and experiencing difficulties with the language there, she decided to invent her own form of communication in order to record what she found, saw and experienced, and to use this material creatively. On the one hand, she collected everyday objects such as memos and newspaper clippings, the colors of which she skillfully used as part of her art. On the other hand, she began to add dialogues between her and fictional friends and day after day you can find the continuation of these stories in her diaries. In her vibrant mind, a fish became her friend, but also Peter Paul Rubens, whom she met in the museum and with whom she had a lively conversation. The artist calls this visual writing. The technique, reminiscent of mind mapping, supports her in recording memories and dreams and working with them to make art, and understand life, as well as making the unconscious, conscious. In our exhibition we are showing one of these diaries comprehensively for the first time.
Having arrived in Vienna, the artist now finds space to design larger paintings. Here the results are more figurative, with distinctive impressionistic colors and shapes. On the canvas, her work invites the viewer to so see figures that entwine themselves and become one, as if she wanted to create a sculpture consisting of several figures. A bit like Giambologna's robbery of the Sabine women - but without robbery;-) The figures are all very much in motion and appear to be represented as if they wanted to turn or as if several states of motion had been recorded simultaneously. A moment of action, captured in time. The final result is quite exciting, and draws the viewers eye in.
We are happy about this exhibition. Thanks to Aklima Iqbal!