In the Face of Krísis

A new UK exhibition opens on 27th Oct 2016

Article by Shireen

This October invites you to contemplate on the nit and grit of life through artistic lenses in the upcoming Krísis exhibition, curated by Something Human and presented in partnership with the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham ContemporaryKrísis is a multidisciplinary exhibition and events programme that involves the participation of international visual and performance artists around the world that hopes to deconstruct the term ‘crisis’ through different levels of perspectives in the current socio-political climate.

Many of us are familiar with the term ‘crisis’ as a critical point or an emergency, but not with its origins in Greek etymology where krisis literally meant “judgement, result of a trial, selection”. The root form of crisis was a term connoted with having the power and authority to decide, distinguish and select. Yet, in today’s context, those afflicted with crisis are rarely accorded the power that the original meaning represents.

As the organisers of Krísis put it:

“In what seems like an intensifying atmosphere of global, media-driven expressions of shock, horror, fear and anxiety – how can we use states of crisis as ways to re-think the future? Can we harness these acutely painful conditions as opportunities to recuperate alternative modes of creativity?”

Part of the team of 16 international artists participating in an amazing line-up of programmes due for this project, Nicola brings 50 skies : 50 scars to the exhibition platform, inviting the audience to contemplate on the issue of the normality of crisis in the lives of some. While some parts of the world are increasingly protected from crisis, some have been so completely desensitised to the idea of devastation, pain and loss that the new scar comes almost as habitually as the first light of day.


Hand-burned incense drawing and watercolour ink on calligraphy paper, charred paper, charcoal, embroidery hoops, and handmade sunlight lenses, 2016

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In 50 skies : 50 scars, Nicola’s signature burning technique makes its mark atop layers of calligraphy paper suspended within embroidery hoops, almost akin to scars on the bare skin. The patience and control required for this process is utmost and the burnt spots should be at the optimal size. She bears the gravity of the damage inflicted upon the paper; and the redolent scent and smoke serves as a poignant reminder of a time of peace and tranquility.

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This contemplative yet meditative process is intensified with every ray of light that seeps through the little holes made by the burning incense. Each shadow cast creates a disjointed structure, an incomplete yet recognisable form that is seen from the view of the sky. This complex structure becomes almost comparable to fragments and remnants of what is left post-crisis.


Just like how incense burning is purposed as an offering to the Gods in some cultures, the earthly destruction and loss is sometimes offered in exchange for a heavenly spot amongst the stars in the skies in the face of crisis.

50 skies : 50 scars is part of the Krísis exhibition on show from 28 October to 9 December 2016 at the Bonington Gallery in Nottingham Trent University, UK, that features 16 international artists each with works revolving around the theme of “crisis”.

Participating artists include:

Nicola Anthony (UK)
Sama Alshaibi (Palestine-Iraq)
John Clang (Singapore)
Dictaphone Group (Lebanon)
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi (US-Iran)
Núria Güell and Levi Orta (Spain-Lebanon)
Soni Kum (Japan-Korea)
Lynn Lu (Singapore)
Marija Milosevska (Macedonia)
Rachel Parry (UK)
Post-Museum (Singapore)
Raju Rage (UK)
Aida Silvestri (UK)
Srey Bandaul (Cambodia)
Tuan Mami (Vietnam)
Boedi Widjaja (Singapore)

Partners and Supporters of Krisis ExhibitionFor more information on the exhibition, click here.

Shireen, Studio Assistant


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