Member’s work on display in London’s Saatchi Gallery
A painting of a group of the College's visiting Scholars, created by Goodenough Member Khushna Sulaman-Butt, is now on display in the prestigious Saatchi Gallery as part of its “London Grads Now” exhibition (3-26 September 2020).
Following the unprecedented cancellation of graduation shows across London (due to COVID-19), the Saatchi Gallery invited a distinguished panel of curators from London’s finest art schools to select a range of works from their graduating students for display in the exhibition.
Khushna, who is studying for a Masters in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art, says: “I’m so honoured for my painting of the Scholars to be seen and hanging at the Saatchi Gallery. To be hanging there is in line with my intention for the sitters to be seen and celebrated. The Saatchi Gallery is a very established gallery that has made the career of many Young British Artists (YBAs) including Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin. To be part of an exhibition like this gives me the chance to be spotted by some of the best galleries and collectors who are part of Saatchi Gallery’s patrons and friends.”
Describing how the portrait came about Khushna adds: “I met the group by chance in 2019, while they were singing on the steps of the Great Hall before a rehearsal. I was attracted to their energy and presence and asked if I could photograph them that evening. I captured a beautiful bank of images to create the final piece; a painting that represents first impressions.
“The portrait is all about visibility. The viewer can feel the presence of all the scholars looking out of the frame, an exchange of gazes invites the viewer into the group to sit at the empty chair in the painting. I’m from a minority and always empathise with my sitters, this portrait is all about people being seen and how traditional portraiture can be a platform to celebrate people from all walks of life.”
More information about the exhibition and a small selection of images can be found on the Saatchi Gallery website. Tickets for the exhibition are £3 (free to Saatchi Gallery Members). The Gallery is currently open from Wednesday to Sunday (10am to 6pm), pre-booking required.