NOUR EL SALEH
RESIDENCY: JUNE - AUGUST 2022
EXHIBITION: AUGUST 2022
I create dreamlike but nightmarish worlds, which invite ugliness while challenging the extremities of aesthetic beauty. Using characters that are awfully relatable but not quite human, with their sagging skin, dry lips and often-malicious glares, they are unsettling but still evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia. Dressed in ornate costumes, they display patterns and textures relating to my childhood.
Nour El Saleh
Nour El Saleh’s works explore notions of place, identity and memory. Influenced by her transitory upbringing between the Middle East and London, she invites us into alternate worlds characterised by overly charged environments. Reinterpreting the hyper-dramatic compositions of European religious paintings, her backdrops, overloaded with psychological symbolism, explore the metaphor of the theatre, with its unnatural actors and passive audience. The characters inhabiting these worlds present exaggerated, almost grotesque features, symbolising the structured and performative aspects of society whilst challenging the extremities of aesthetic beauty.
Nour el Saleh (b. 1997 Beirut, Lebanon) grew up in Abu Dhabi and lives and works in London, United Kingdom. She received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art in 2019, and is currently completing a Postgraduate degree at the Royal Drawing School. Recent solo exhibitions include Clouds of Venom at Plaza Plaza, London (2021); Where the Grass is Synthetic at V.O Curations, London (2021); The Play That Goes on Forever with Lowell Ryan Projects at Zona Maco, Mexico City (2020) and Exquisite Farces at V.O Curations, London (2019).