The scene is like some strange mini-market stacked with objects, that through blurred vision at least, could resemble familiar, everyday goods. Shelves are filled with wrapped packages, bundled objects, rolls tied with strings. Among them are mini footballs, old containers, parts of machinery and even a book.
Sharif’s works are described as sculptures and it’s clear that thought has gone into each and every object of display, whether the raw materials (the original found objects and post-consumer waste) have been altered significantly or not. It’s no coincidence that we think of a supermarket when we look at the work.
The art, particularly the book, reminds me of childhood, when I’d find scraps of paper or empty packaging and make something from them. It seems a shame over time that I lost that impulse, and perhaps that imagination.
Sharif’s work is not pretty, it’s not easy to look at. It’s as if we are looking at the existing world through some dark and dirty lens. These hybrids are the by-product of the innumerable everyday love affairs we have with things. Things we discard so easily and in such innocence.
I would like to be as strong as Sharif and to work with such conscience. And his work makes me wonder about the lifespan of my own meagre output, and about the quandaries around energy consumption and sustainability.
It’s heartening to know that an empty book on a shelf can say so much.