Unity / Aisha Cahn
Opening Hours Monday to Friday: 9:45am- 5:45pm Saturday 4th March: 2pm - 6pm
About Aisha Cahn Aisha’s work brings together the disciplines of faith and science through the form of contemporary, conceptual art. She draws her inspiration from the universal themes of faith, art and science. There is an element of spirituality in each of these disciplines, which is the essence of her work. With her Indian origin, Islamic faith and British nationality, she creates work that is a hybrid, connecting the Eastern and Western hemispheres.
As Cahn’s work has consistently explored the realms of spirituality, science and philosophy, the focus of her practice has often been on our connection to forces that transcend the human experience and our relationship with God and the cosmos.
Aisha is primarily a painter, but has been exploring various media including installations, drawing, printing and digital art (NFTs).
About the Exhibition
A percentage of sales will go towards helping a war-torn region.
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 effects. 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.
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. 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 to create divisions and hatred amongst each other.
An interesting observation - an animal will only kill for survival.
Aisha graduated with an MA degree in Fine Art from Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design in 2008. Since graduating. She has had a series of group and solo shows in London and Europe, including those presented by Lloyds TSB, Mayfair London, 2008, ING Bank, City of London,, 2009, sponsored by HSBC, Albemarle Gallery, London, 2011, Albemarle Gallery, London 2013, and Saatchi Gallery 2017, Reggia di Caserta, Naples 2018, Pala Cultura, Sicily 2019.
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