Berloni is delighted to present the first UK solo exhibition by Palestinian artist Steve Sabella.
As an artist who has lived in constant ‘mental exile’, Sabella seeks to photographically record and stabilise the very dislocation, that a Jersualem born individual seemingly eternally ‘on the road’ has encountered.
The work investigates the fragmentation and disorientation of unwitting nomadism. Sabella gives a visual form to the exile & alienation that are at the core of his life and accordingly his art. He slowly glues his visual fragments together to create something more complete. While these pieces were once torn fractured and torn in every direction, they are now unified.
Sabella gives a visual form to the ‘state of mind’ created by this exile. Sabella deconstructs his surroundings and rebuilds them by assembling hundreds of images together until a ‘new form’ or ‘impossible reality’ is created.
Early works from the Euphoria series use countless trees presented as rhizomatic strands of thoughts, once arranged and set, becoming an ecstatic resolution.
Beyond Euphoria was created at a time when Sabella was absorbing the dramatic changes in the Arab World, specifically the Tunisian-Egyptian conflict. The unfolding events influenced this artwork and shifted it from its original conception and prior state of mind, evident in previous artworks.
The consequent Metamorphosis series harnessed an inevitable shift from ecstasy and euphoria to an evident ‘disturbia’, rattled and stoked by events surrounding the artist. Conflict zones both politically within the Arab world, and indeed his own psyche, promt Sabella to transcend these obstacles, and use them as the building blocks for a still ongoing series of images. Sabella writes: “If I manage to create a form that is dazzling from pieces of barbed wire, then the barbed wire will cease to be what it is. It will settle or become part of my building blocks. It will be muted. In brief, Through metamorphosis I will transcend my ‘Disturbia’.”