Bright / young (2): Shakil Solanki in the making
Our second Meet-in-the-making screen print this month is by Shakil Solanki, an award-winning young artist acclaimed for his achievements in printmaking. His use of colour plays an integral role in his work, which meant that, once again, one of our chief tasks in studio was to amplify the artist’s masterful handling of hue.
As such, Solanki’s screen print is soaked in his evocative, signature midnight blue, with a solemn gold added as the second colour. We were thrilled with the result: it speaks of an artist in his element.
‘The Spoils of Summer’ started with a sketch Solanki made after a day on Sandy Bay beach – of a speedo swimsuit; a symbol of summer, leisure and lust. He then juxtaposed the drawing within a new yet fitting context directly inspired by William Morris wallpaper designs.
Solanki describes this fictitious scene:
‘[The] slender branches laden with ripe fruits and budding blossoms, against a starlit sky, inspire an amatory environment. The speedo hangs lightly from one of the branches, leaving one to wonder the reason for its abandonment, and where, in the midst of this fragranced night, has its owner vanished off to?’
He further adds:
‘In creating this artwork, I found a naïve charm in the slight subversion of the Morris wallpaper by a sensuous object, which too was removed from its usual bodily context. Here, the two join to flesh out a verdant, fragmentary landscape, brimming with innuendo, paying homage to a bygone season of warmth.’