Soniya Ahmed

Amn (أمن) 

80 x 60cm

Oil and Acrylic paint on canvas

Asking Price: £1,200

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Soniya Ahmed is a Kurdistan-born artist, who moved to the UK at the age of 14. She later went on to study fine art at Goldsmith's University and then completed a Masters at the University of Glasgow. Her experience of living in Kurdistan and other personal experiences are at the base of Soniya's works, which explore the broad themes of existence and being in a space outside of reality through metaphysical landscapes and figures. Working across oil, acrylic and digital, the toy-like characters in her paintings often represent the de-personalisation of humans and how they are interchanged with anthropomorphic objects.

In her reinterpretation, Ahmed defies the classical portraiture rule of relying on the subject's facial expressions to convey emotion, and the painting's reading becomes a riddle that is best understood through context clues. Princess Margaret, only recognisable by her dress, appears frozen, stuck in a state of paralysis and inactivity. Yet, she is still the focus of the scene, motionless under the vigilant eyes of the other characters. As a result, the work universalises the exceptionally singular condition of princess/prisoner, spurring a reflection on power dynamics brought on by the female experience.