“Grotto” a solo exhibit by Ali Sheikh

On View


Interview: Ajay Woolery

Media: Ali Sheikh, The Creative Kids

On View is a series highlighting gallery shows we think you should visit.

This week we spoke with multidisciplinary artist Ali Sheikh about his solo exhibit "Grotto" on view until Oct 31st at the OCAD University's Ada Slaight Gallery


Give a brief introduction of yourself…

AS: I’m Ali Sheikh and I’m a multidisciplinary artist, working mainly in illustration and painting. I’m a fourth year student at OCAD University and just opened my first solo exhibition, Grotto. My current work revolves around themes of self-perception, permanence, and existentialism, and the significance of fear in everyday life.

Tap to Explore — Media: Ali Sheikh, The Creative Kids


Break down the origins of the show’s theme, what it means to you and what you want the viewer to experience as the view the works on display?

AS: Grotto came to life through hours spent digging through found photographs, searching for nothing in particular except for intriguing or eerie compositions and portraits. After collecting imagery from both personal and external archives, I discovered things about my surroundings and upbringing which i had no previous knowledge about, which led me into this existential spiral. The show contrasts the fleeting, ephemeral nature of a cellphone photograph with the ambiguous magnitude of found imagery, and considers the unseen fears and anxieties experienced in day to day life. I want people to feel a sense of uncanny familiarity when viewing the works. I want the work to feel like a distant memory that you can’t quite put a finger on, a phrase on the tip of your tongue.

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