The Coningsby Gallery

Debut Art

Outstanding contemporary illustration
and graphic and fine art.

Unity / Aisha Cahn

Aisha Cahn’s work has consistently explored the realms of spirituality, science and philosophy. The focus of Cahn’s practice has often been on our connection to forces that transcend the human experience and our relationship with God and the cosmos. As a result of this, Cahn has become increasingly concerned with the division that has emerged in the world we live in, and her approach to her current artwork has evolved in light of this. She feels this world has become so polarised and that ordinary human beings, are being dictated by the most corrupt heads of states. Each one possessing more power, control, greed and desiring to be the most powerful nation in the world.

To achieve this, they all have one commonality. To create, innovate, manufacture, import and export the biggest and the most lethal weapons of mass destruction; be it atomic, chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons. All of these with devastating affects. The weapons of mass destruction / arms industry happens to be the most lucrative industry in the world. In order for this industry to remain lucrative, there must be a demand for WMDs and there can only be demand in a time of conflict. Heads of states and manufacturers have a vested interest in ensuring this need for warfare is met.

What is the need? Unnecessary division is created amongst countries, through no fault of their own, by the intervention of the big Western states. Unrest is fostered, with global media being used to promote destabilisation of these countries while unnecessary wars emerge. The only result of these wars is the death of hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians.

It is mentioned in all the worlds sacred scriptures, “Thou shalt not kill”, and yet, these corrupt heads of states are determined to use these WMDs at the expense of killing and destroying their fellow human beings in order to fulfil their greed for power and control. The entire world is presented with a war, a game to be played, the fate of nations merely stepping stones for world leaders towards an abstract victory.

This series of work titled UNITY, conveys a message of putting a stop to unnecessary wars at the expense of innocent human civilians, who are like pawns on a chess board. For this series, Cahn has created two installations of light boxes; one being a large chessboard with 196 flags, representing the 196 countries of the world. The chess board comprises of 196 squares and is on a grid of 14 x 14 with 28 pieces, instead of the standard chess board that comprises of 64 squares of 8 x 8 grid and 16 pieces. As chess is a very strategic game with two opposing players, the arrangement of the 196 flags were also strategically positioned on the board.

The other light box has a black and white film projected over the 196 saturated coloured flags. The film is a compilation of war footage, dating back to WWI and features a soundscape blending together the sounds of warfare. The senses are enlivened through sound and space to immerse the viewer in the obscure vision of warfare.

In addition, Cahn has created some paintings representing silhouettes of tanks, fighter planes and AK 47s. She has also created some assemblages, whereby three dimensional collages are created with found objects to a two dimensional surface.

“If I wanted, I could have made you all one nation” - Quran 5:48 But we are many nations and we are to learn from each other’s languages, cultures and traditions and to live harmoniously. Not create divisions and hatred amongst each other.

An interesting observation - an animal will only kill for survival.

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February 2023

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