Ayesha Sultana / Bangladesh b.1984 / Vortex 2018 / Graphite on paper / 61 x 61cm / Purchased 2018. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Ayesha Sultana / Image courtesy: Ayesha Sultana and Experimenter, Kolkata

Ayesha Sultana
Vortex 2018

Not Currently on Display

Ayesha Sultana’s works meander between delicate drawings and minimalist sculptures. The artist creates her works by applying multiple layers of graphite, using sticks, powder and soft brushes, on layers of paper to develop the seductive metallic tones. The thick sheets are then carefully cut, folded and fixed to explore shape and depth. Although her process is monochromatic and limited to a single material, she finds numerous ways to explore two- and three-dimensional space and the illusion of movement.

Using both conventional and found materials, Ayesha Sultana works with drawing, painting and sculpture to investigate properties of form, space and colour. Sultana’s works are fundamentally about sensory perception, and while they are not specifically architectural studies, they evoke the built environment. Early in the development of her graphite works, she was inspired by the corrugated tin roof buildings of Dhaka in Bangladesh. She uses the sensory experience of living in the city in her practice, occasionally working from photographs or with collected objects. In her practice, Sultana also explores the smells, sounds, objects and materials that are in plain sight, but which are often overlooked.

Her graphite works play with illusions of depth and rigidity, creating unsettling distinctions between two- and three-dimensions. Sultana creates objects that are delicately made by hand but have the appearance of something metallic and machine-made. These works recall minimalist sculpture and are meticulously rendered in tonal gradations of graphite, the paper carefully moulded to create alluring three-dimensional shapes. Her drawings are composed of repeated lines and patterns that suggest a meditative stillness.