Solo art exhibition of Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ kicks off in London

NL Today

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London: The October Gallery based in London is showcasing the  fourth solo exhibition by a well-known Nepali artist based in the United Kingdom, Govinda Sah ‘Azad.’  

Entitled ‘Absent Presence’, the exhibition brings together a new body of large-scale and smaller paintings rendered in oil and acrylic on linen and canvas. 

The works are informed by Sah’s intriguing combination of insights into his local environment and his ongoing metaphysical musings about the nature of reality itself. 

The exhibition, which kicked off on  1st December, 2022 will run until  28thJanuary, 2023 at the October Gallery (

Launching the exhibition, Ambassador of Nepal to the UK, Gyan Chandra Acharya, said Sah’s paintings were informed by colour, vibrancy and texture. “We can see the reflections of eastern philosophy, of duality, in his paintings,” said Acharya, adding, “his depiction of clouds takes our consciousness to new heights.” 

Ambassador Acharya also lauded Sah’s role in fostering people-to-people relations between Nepal and the UK through arts. 

Director of October Gallery, Chili Hawes, said that Sah had spent 12 years–a momentous time–in the UK creating paintings of his choice. “His paintings are informed by clarity, courage and vision,” she said. 

While studying at the College of Fine Art in Kathmandu, Sah became aware of the work of the English artists, J. M. W. Turner, and John Constable. While the latter amazed him with his ‘cloud studies’, it was the manner in which the former represented light in all its various manifestations that most fascinated Sah. 

Describing his ongoing journey, Sah states: “Originally, in Kathmandu, I worked in a realist mode, before gradually moving towards abstraction, in London, where clouds became a subject that allowed me to meditate upon the more spiritual aspects of Nature. Margate, being more open, means I often work outside, where the change in the colour of light is more profound. One immediate consequence is that although my colour palette becomes simpler, my paintings feel much brighter. It’s a challenge to capture these fleeting, almost transcendental effects, that are so difficult to hold onto, but that necessity forces my work to keep on developing, which delights any artist!”

“The more I thought about my family, the more I became aware of their constant presence in my daily life. The “problem”only exists because of my own unreal expectations, my fixed projection of the world. By teasing it apart, deconstructing it and reconfiguring it afresh, I realized a much deeper truth: that I cannot be ‘apart’ from my mother or my family, we are always connected and can never be separated from each other, not even by distance.”

“Each one of Sah’s captivating works is a record of similar ruminations on the complex enigmas of life. Each canvas bears witness to a struggle: each stand as testimony to its own resolution. Although Man feels that he is apart from Nature, these startling canvases reconfigure this puzzle to reveal another perspective, concluding that man is a part of Nature. Herein lies the simplicity and endless allure of Govinda Sah’s work,” the Gallery said.