Link to exhibition catalogue

Nuha Saad works with optimism and a modernist inheritance turning to colour and abstraction in a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Saad’s work identifies with both western art training and an eastern sensibility. The works exhibited in The Folly of Colour demonstrate the feeling of being in-between different cultural experiences. In the exhibition eastern forms bump up against the hard geometries of minimalist and formalist tendencies alike, but in a gentle way. One side supports the other, completes it and balances it formally.

Parallel constructions built like porticos, with seemingly precarious geometries, are supported by their mirror reflection. Simultaneously colour balances and undermines the form, as the viewer’s eye flicks from the coloured to the unpainted wooden surface. While on painted colonial columns colour is used as camouflage (tone here seems to reflect something of the fading light on the veranda), a sun-bleached cartoon of once grand ideals, where wealth and promise are now pushed aside. Caught between the bland beige ordinariness of today’s home beautiful, these works remind us of both the colonial past of heritage facades and eastern ornament.

Saad’s seemingly wobbly minimalism is one where colour and tone – usually used to   describe shape – destabilise the structure and form of individual sculptural works, creating a three-dimensional optical illusion. The scale of the works causes a phenomenological reading that draws on one’s sense of clumsiness and overload, while Saad’s gravity defying stacks are magically assembled like a house of cards.

Michele Beevors, Principal Lecturer: Sculpture and Ceramics, Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic

Nuha Saad is a Sydney based sculptor working in the areas of installation, galleries and public art. She has been included in solo and group exhibitions at public galleries including Artspace, RMIT Gallery, UTS Gallery, Casula Powerhouse, Grace Cossington Smith Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery, Benalla Art Gallery, and Queensland University of Technology Art Museum. Most recently her work was on view in the group exhibition The Home (2020) at Hazelhurst Arts Centre, and she was featured in The Australian newspaper’s Off the Wall, a curated catalogue of artwork by rising stars of the art market.

Saad has completed a number of large scale pubic art commissions for City of Sydney, Marrickville High School, Meriton and Transport NSW. She has been a finalist in national art prizes including the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship, NSW Ministry for the Arts Women and Arts Fellowship, RBS Art Award, ABN AMRO Art Award, The Blake Prize, Tom Bass Sculpture Prize, Deakin University Small Sculpture Award, Hidden Rookwood Sculptures, Paramor Prize: Art + Innovation, and the Meroogal Women’s Art Prize.

Upcoming projects in 2021 include a major group exhibition at Gippsland Art Gallery, VIC, and a public art commission for the Atlas Group, supported by City of Sydney. Saad’s work is held in the collections of City of Sydney, Randwick City Council, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Artbank and numerous private collections.

Photos: Docqment

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