First Picked Colour

First Picked Colour
Hoshyar Rasheed
8 Jul – 4 Sep 2022

Artist Hoshyar Rasheed graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the late nineties and quickly found his way to a style that floats somewhere between figurative and abstract art. Through this solo exhibition First Picked Colour, we see the changes but also the similarities in his work since Meet Me Here, a duo exhibition he shared with his brother Rebwar Saed at Hama Gallery in April of last year.

First Picked Colour #8, 2022

Now Hoshyar’s work graces the space alone, titled after a family story. In his childhood, a scarcity of resources made it impossible for his parents to acquire painting materials for him. Hoshyar ventured into the Kurdish nature and picked poppy flowers. At home, he would ask his mother to boil them so that he could use the red pigment that emerged as his first colour. “Without this experience, I probably would have never painted flowers. To this day, poppies are still my favourite flowers.”

Looking Back at the Past, 2010

Hoshyar’s work is diverse, characterised by his use of rich colours, mixed media and sketches on wood. No medium is off limits. “I have periods during which I completely immerse myself in one medium, like ceramic or wood, but I always return to the canvas.” His figurative work tells a story, whereas his abstract paintings obscure his emotion and personal experience.

Longing for That Time, 2021
A Colourful Thought, 2013

He draws his inspiration from a love for poetry. “Poetry is the scent of my art; as soon as I read a poem, my whole body blossoms.” Crossed-out texts serve as a secret script; decipherable only to those familiar with the Kurdish language. Fish and birds appear in nearly every work, symbolising his friends and freedom. “I believe that whoever has my fish, will become happier.”

Hoshyar’s work also mirrors his environment. “Before the pandemic, most of us were preoccupied with the world around us, this moment gave an opportunity to turn to self.” The changes of the world are translated into a new series of figurative paintings filled with pastel tones, colours he says he used little before. Faces covered with flora and fauna, symbolic of the closing in on oneself. Hoshyar hopes that his viewers discover his hidden stories and bring home a new thought; the key to one’s own hidden story.