You carried a local delicacy each time in your bag, some small chosen gift, a stone, an apple, flowers, a photograph, transported hundreds of miles, as if you could bring a bit of your earth to me with each meetings; as if, over the months, you would bring your place to mine, one handful at a time.
Ann Micharls and John Berger, Railtracks (2011)
Other crescents other moons is a poetic exploration of memories – the desire to keep one’s interpretation of a specific place alive, transcending time and change. Collecting memories donated by volunteers, Qureshi depicts a ‘mindsape’ – often desolate and abstract – capturing the detailed essence of one’s emotional, spiritual and/or mental association to a given place. Subconsciously, the artist weaves his own vision onto the memory without interfering with its content thereby questioning the ownership and the origins of the memory. The viewer is invited to explore the nature of perception and reality, completing personal tales and insights of one’s memory according to their own vision.
In this inaugural solo exhibition, Saad Qureshi brings the concept of belonging and being part of a certain form of identity to the forefront. Drawing on the inspiration from the biblical story ‘The Tower of Babel’, the body of work epitomizes universal individualism, striking on psychological, cultural, social, religious and historical levels. The centerpiece of the exhibition for example, other crescents other moons, depicts a continuum of islands of memories – linked to each other, sharing the same ground of an abstract structure, reminiscent of a never-ending spiral, removed from its larger self. The memories appear more contained in Qureshi’s smaller sculptural works whereby reclaimed furniture such as drawers and cupboards provide the setting for the landscapes to comfortably rest on.
The work presents and represents Qureshi and his world. Through his observations, past the intricate demonstration of the various aforementioned layers, we come across a land, a desolate land, which often appears in the artist’s multi-medium oeuvre. Melancholic to some, radiating of hope and positivity to others, the open land can be perceived as a playground for our ideas and thoughts on topics Qureshi raises. It gives us time to reflect, to silently agree or actively disagree with the artist’s remarks, with our own or our neighbour’s interpretations. The discourse that ensues which may continue endlessly and lose its purpose and direction is grounded by the very nature of these lands. As such, Qureshi pulls the viewer into a playful interaction where the mind loses control and the imagination takes over, which in turn succumbs to the conscience and then reigns free again.
'I have to be really quick to describe clouds, because in a second they become another.'