This September, The Gallery at Valentines Mansion will be host to a very special exhibition – “In Search of Gold” by local artist Eliyah Quereshi from Barkingside.
In Search of Gold is portraiture which gives prominence to bees, subtly crafted from gold acrylic and ink. The bee is vulnerable yet commands great power within nature, and the collection seeks to accentuate the melancholy of this paradox. The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops and meet the artist session.
“I make art to show my soul I am listening. Art is what defines me; I talk in paint and ink, not vowels and consonants. Through art, I process what I have experienced in life.” – Eliyah Qureshi
Eliyah is a Pakistani-born contemporary artist who is known for her conceptual ink drawings and portraiture. The artist has lived and worked in East London for over a decade and is currently exploring the concepts of beauty, acceptance and adaptation. Her most recent work includes a series of abstract acrylic paintings which feature striking, poignant portraits of performers such as Adele, Beyoncé and the inimitable Amy Winehouse.
Eliyah’s solo exhibition, ‘In Search of Gold’ is inspired by the search for a remedy to cure the ‘incurable’. Having personally contended with terminal sickness, her search for the cure felt non-existent.
Eliyah utilises Manuka Honey as a natural remedy that is kinder, and more healing to her body, in comparison to harsh prescription medication. Though bees are known to be vital to life on earth, their value increased exponentially with the introduction of Manuka Honey (which is revered for its medicinal properties) to mainstream society. To those suffering from the untreatable and incurable, bees hold more value to them than gold; an idea that imbues itself in the gold and ink of her works.
In many parts of the world bees are considered to be able to grant the gifts of poetry, eloquence and song to mankind. For the women who strive for the desire to be beautiful, the value of the bee and what it produces maintains significance for these women. Eliyah believes the bee to hold immense power.
Alongside her practice as a professional Visual Artist, Eliyah’s artistic approach to teaching and learning is focused on using art for a cause. ‘Barkingside Art Club’ has been newly established with the aim of bringing local creatives together, which also intends to deliver art workshops to children and adults. Providing a space for local creatives to meet regularly, network, and collaborate with one another. She will also be facilitating exhibitions thereby promoting individual businesses. Local creatives will also be given the opportunity to volunteer in helping children with SEN learn through creative activities.
On exhibiting at Valentines Mansion, Eliyah says “The scenic location provides a synergetic combination of a rich, green environment which compliments the bees in my series, In Search of Gold. Most of my art career has been about giving back to the community and taking part in community based projects; the mansion is a historical artefact in our local community, and I’m very enthused to exhibit my work there.”
Watch this space for more information about the exhibition, meet the artist sessions and workshops. The artwork will be available for purchase, alongside various prints during the exhibition.
In Search of Gold
Open to the public on Sundays and Tuesdays between the 3rd and 26th September