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Mila Askarova's Bodhi

Central London's Gazelli Art House launches its first group expo, looking closer at the human search for knowledge

Featuring the artworks of Jaume Plensa, Khanlar Gasimov, Olympia Scarry and Shan Hur, Gazelli Art House is this week presenting its first exhibition, ‘Bodhi’. The art organisation has already had a successful series of shows across London-based venues. ‘Bodhi’ is the finale of the shows that took place throughout 2011, which concentrated on the five main classical elements – Fire, Earth, Water, Air and Ether.

As ‘Bodhi’ is a Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as ‘enlightenment’, the focus of the exhibition is on human search for knowledge. Despite being conceived in 2010 and postponed until 2012, the exhibition naturally coincides with the opening of the gallery, beginning with an ending, and consequently staying true to the cycle where the continuity remains intact. The curator, Mila Askarova, set up Gazelli Art House because she felt that there was a shortage of commercial galleries running with a non-profit mind set, which according to Askarova, is a very difficult but rewarding balance to strike.

Using contemporary art as a tool to engage with our inner self and respond to our surroundings, Askarova points out the importance of acknowledging the interconnectivity between the self and the environment, describing it as something “worth reminding ourselves of every now and then”.

Dazed Digital: What was the inspiration behind ‘Bodhi’?
Mila Askarova: Our perception, appreciation, and acknowledgment of art are two-fold: instinctive reaction and a more researched and developed response. The ability to constantly learn and (re)discover oneself through an artwork, a somewhat spiritual approach to contemporary art led to the formation of this show.

DD: What do you find most inspiring about the work of the artists in the exhibition?
Mila Askarova: It is the subtle depiction of their perceptions of the surroundings and of themselves. An underlying philosophical approach to the works is inherent in all four of them – Plensa’s poetic outlook, Gasimov’s spiritual undertakings, Scarry’s psychological analysis and Hur’s deconstruction of the delicate reality.

DD:  What is the most memorable exhibition you have ever been to?
Mila Askarova: I remember I was fascinated by Salcedo’s Shibboleth at the Turbine Hall for the powerful message and the subtlety of its delivery.

DD: What are your plans for the future?
Mila Askarova: To host the most thought provoking and inspiring exhibitions and to continue building a successful name for the gallery distinct in its professional approach, and creative outlook.

‘Bodhi’ is on unti 19th April at Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1