Waterloo Gallery

This was the first solo exhibition by rising artist Cos Ahmet, and it offered an excellent opportunity to view a large collection of his work in one venue, and to appreciate his progress and the development of his themes. The body, specifically the male body, is at the core of his work, as he says, "channelled through the artist's body as a sounding board, and used as a vehicle in communicating these narratives or body-logues."

Working from a deeply personal base, Ahmet communicates these "body-logues" to the viewer with immense clarity. The pieces are uncluttered, yet allow a depth of interpretation to be layered and given textual narrative by the viewer. Issues such as vulnerability, pride, sexual freedom, connections between people and bodies, love, tenderness and joy, all find expression in his work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his work is popular with gay men, who find an emotional connection to his work. Passing glances, the sexual tension in a club, the emotional bond between men, and the headlong rush of uncertainty of being gay and finding a place in the world are all evident, yet subtly present. Aspects of life that we experience are charted within the frames of his work, yet the issues explored do not exclude non gay viewers. Universal themes speak to the viewer, and moving through the exhibition strengthened the emotional experience. His selective use of colour enables the connection to be strong.

One advantage of this exhibition, with approximately fifty pictures on display, is to see his growing confidence as an artist. The later work is emotionally bolder, the themes more personal, reflecting his commitment to a deeper emotional archiving, and a stronger identity is beginning to emerge. One early piece is entitled Shadow Portrait. With this exhibition, Ahmet moves out of the shadows and begins to find a strong voice on the cultural landscape.

Dr. Paul T. Davies.