Cara Nahaul


Ongoing solo show
September 13 — October 28, 2023

Galerie Camille Pouyfaucon, 19 rue Guénégaud, Paris 6


Camille Pouyfaucon Gallery is thrilled to present the first international solo show of Cara Nahaul, from September 13 to October 28, 2023. For this exhibition, Cara Nahaul has created an enigmatic new body of work which explores memory, personal history and the passing of time. With a focus on landscapes and remote outdoor scenes, Nahaul continues to use her memories as a departure point, in particular her childhood travels to her parents' home countries of Malaysia and Mauritius. For the first time, she is also presenting paintings of scenes much closer to home where she lives in the UK.


The exhibition’s title ‘Nocturnes’ refers to a musical composition that reflects the sombre mood and ephemerality of night time. Nahaul was drawn to this evocative theme to help capture the fleeting nature of memory, and our struggle to hold on to it as it inevitably fades. Most of Nahaul’s paintings are composed either from memory or photographs, although lifelike depictions are not her primary concern. Rather, the exhibition gives an intimate glimpse into her interior world, driven by a yearning to close the distance between the various places she thinks of as home.


The works are connected by a notable absence of figures and a distinctive colour palette that illuminates the empty scenes she paints, which are immersive and charged with quiet tension. Using composition and colour in this way allows Nahaul to take hold of familiar spaces, imbue them with a sense of mystery and create something new. Drawing is integral to the artist’s practice and development, and often the paintings appear like drawings themselves with expressive and sketch-like brushstrokes.


Although the paintings depict different locations and climates, each is treated in the same painterly manner. Switching between scenes of tropical coastlines and her parents’ garden in England, the places hardly seem separate at all, with vibrant hues, expansive skies and rich, dense vegetation to be found in both. Together the paintings meditate on the cycle of time, with landscapes being a poignant metaphor for growth and decay. They offer a way to think about remembering the places we have been and the traces we leave behind, using memory’s mutability and unreliability to construct a personal narrative that extends beyond locale.