Pegah Shah’s first solo exhibition Soaring High uses surreal compositions to create an exhibition of hope and freedom. In her depiction of birds, she connects people by sharing anxieties and hopes for freedom. She uses watercolour and coloured pencils on paper in varying earth tones inspired by the colours of old historic sites from Tehran — a nod to her heritage.
Pegah Shah (second from left) with her family at the opening reception on August 18. Photo: Kunal Sant
In a search for purpose, physician Pegah Shah was looking for an outlet to express how working in a hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic made her feel.
Southern Ground Hornbill Flying To An Empty Nest, watercolour on paper, 18 x 24 in
In some of her works, the birds have wings but are not able to fly because they live in capture.
Untitled, coloured pencil on paper, 18 x 24 in
In others, they are feasting on prey or flying freely.
Eagles Prey, watercolour on paper, 18 x 24 in
These works are metaphors for the human spirit, representing the self-determination and agency it takes to soar with high spirits. Pegah’s works are an inspiring reminder of the circle of life, and the way lifeforms — in the air and on land — are constantly adjusting to environments outside their control.
Installation view with visitors at the opening reception. Photo: Kunal Sant
*Exhibition information: August 17–28, 2022, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen St W. Gallery hours: Wed to Sat 1–5pm, Sun 1–4pm.