Then There Was Us

Pouring Into Myself

2023-01-25 – Feature

Denisse Ariana Pérez, Hemali Khoosal

“I keep coming back to water scenes. I keep coming back to lakes, rivers and oceans. I like to explore the interaction of people with water. Water can disarm even the most armed of facades. Becoming one with water is not about rushing but rather about flowing. And flowing is the closest thing to being.” - Denisse Ariana Pérez.

Forward-thinking London gallery, Doyle Wham, presents a joint exhibition featuring groundbreaking female artists, Hemali Khoosal and Denisse Ariana Pérez.

The exhibition is timed to coincide with the second edition release of Pérez’s debut photobook, Agua, and revolves around its titular theme. Water is central to the work of both artists providing a connection between their work. Encompassing photography, watercolours, and oil paintings, the exhibition explores the connection between water, (specifically its ability to reflect, erase and renew) and the human experience.

Pérez, a Dominican-born, Barcelona-based, multi-disciplinary artist, has long held a deep fascination with water. It has been a constant presence in her life and a key inspiration behind her work, driving her to all corners of the globe, from Scandinavia to Senegal. The culmination is her debut monograph, from which seven images are included in the exhibition. Poetic, performative, and deeply compelling, Pérez depicts human subjects with the eye of a sculptor, their expressive kinesics mirroring natural forms and evoking the fluidity of the water in which they are immersed.

Khoosal’s work is collaboratively oriented and draws from her interactions with others. Three brand new large-scale paintings by the Johannesburg-born artist, along with a series of watercolours that explore water’s fluidity, are presented in dialogue with Pérez’s images. Though visually disparate, the work of both artists connects thematically and symbolically. In her paintings, Khoosal portrays hands (a common motif in her work) as waves, or perhaps waves as hands, thus, much like Perez,  blurring the intersections between the natural and the human.

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Pouring into Myself: Hemali Khoosal and Denisse Ariana Pérez, is on view at Doyle Wham, 91A Rivington St, London EC2A 3AY, until Friday 17th March. Find more information here.

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