Salah Saouli received the “DANZ” award / Dansk-Australsk-New Zealandsk Venskabsforenings award (Friendship society of Australia, New Zealand and Denmark) Prize of the Sculpture By The Sea 2015 – a biennial exhibition of sculpture in Aarhus/ Denmark.
There were 57 participant artists of 2km long open air exhibition on the sea shore of Aarhus city in DK and the award Celebration was held on Wednesday July the 1st.
Please find hereafter some press publishing and an introduction about Salah’s art work “Swarm” .
The installation “Swarm” conveys the idea of an organic structure or creature, its shape reminiscent of a large sea animal or a swarm of fish or insects. Appearing among the green leaves, it seems slightly unsettling and surprising, yet at the same time inviting and playful. Like the petrified traces of fish I used to find while walking through the mountains as a child in Lebanon and whose presence clearly showed how the sea level had changed throughout time, the object seems alien and out of place. Its puzzling presence invites the audience to reflect on the consequences of environmental changes that lead animals and plants to seek out new habitats in unfamiliar places. But the work also appear dreamlike and could even be seen as creating a utopian illusion of free-roaming, colourful animals among the lush vegetation of the forest, a natural Arcadia.
The artwork relates to experiences of the senses that challenge the spectator’s perception of reality and intellect. With its multitude of minute details arranged to form a complete whole, it is situated in the space between wakefulness and dreaming, in the space where beauty borders on the sinister and uncanny and where danger is closely related to joy. This ambiguity is also reflected in the red colour, something that points towards a second aspect of the work.
“Swarm” appears both poetic and visually attractive, it beckons the audience to enter a world that is seemingly frozen in time and allows the spectators to step out of their usual state of mind for a brief moment. But the alienating setting of the object invites the visitor into a deeper reflection of the state of our environment and the role humans play in it. And in doing so, the work is clearly political and positions itself against environmental destruction, whether economically driven or related to conflicts and wars.