Prem Sahib – Side on Exhibition Review


The meaning behind Prem Sahib’s structural compositions

This exhibition explores subtle ideas of the blurred boundaries between public and private spaces. Prem Sahib an English Artist currently working in London has a unique skill with visualisations. He expresses meaning and belief through the use of sculpture and manipulation of material.

As you stroll through the Prem Sahib’s Minimalistic exhibition, you explore through his personal ideas of intimacy. The exhibition remains very minimal throughout with subtle colours and simple structures. Some may see this as being very bland but it is a classic portrayal of his opinions. The gallery is made up of large tiled sculptures, condensed puffer jackets, Neons and black aluminium slates.

The initial aspect that you are approached with is the puffer jackets and hoodies that are condensed between panes of glass. I feel this is a representation of people being compressed and restricting their true individuality.  The stacked glass structures allow you to visualise the surrounding gallery on glance. Beside are two pale pink tiled structures of which are seen to intwine to replicate the legs of two people. Playing on the idea of intimacy. Behind is an oversized white-tiled couch, among it a steel mirrored laptop lookalike, with scattered ceramic popcorn which has also been thrown amongst it, creating the idea of comfort and over looking, playing on the concept of a spectator.

Prem Sahib shows an interest about the complications and underlying historical rules among the gay community. In the 20th Century, the gay community was frowned upon, there was no support or allowance to be open about their sexuality. They were condemned to keeping their personal sexuality a secret, having to pass over feelings. If they were to meet with people they ensured their signs were subtle letting each other know the attraction. The only way they could live their life, was through subtle techniques. Such are explained in the book Queer London by Matt Houlbrook.

He has designed two tiled doorways of which reference lavatory cubicles commonly found in the men’s toilet. The design shows a stern black tiled doorway opening with an interior gloss coating which gives a self reflection. The self reflection allows for many concept ideas, the idea of seeing your reflection and the person you really are and then the idea of reflecting yourself into the exterior space around the doors. Showing a clever and effective message of how you are between spaces. It also is used to portray a private intimate act within a much known public space. However this was classed as a hidden area from the public spaces occupied daily. In the first floor gallery there was a small window positioned at height on the wall similar to that would be found within the commonly hidden space, conveying the ideas through the full exhibition. The whole atmosphere of the exhibition feels very enclosed.

As you walk through the doorways into the rest of the surrounding space, you are left with a minimalistic room of which has a mat of large tiles among the floor. Underneath you see footprints impressed using talcum powder. This is represents the dirt underneath your fingernails, the secret that they lived, potentially taking over the exterior view of the object. The exterior dirt, contained within the interior of the tiles.


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