After years of international success, Winchester born artist Taha Afshar will finally have a solo exhibition in his home town. “Letting Light In” featuring new paintings will be showing at The Minster Gallery from 28 September to 30 October.

Taha Afshar was born in Winchester in 1983 and studied Art and History of Art at Winchester College where he was also awarded the Drew Scholarship. From a young age, he exhibited in local galleries and gained local awards. He graduated from UCL, followed by a PhD from the London School of Economics. Still based in Hampshire today, Taha is now an internationally recognised painter and sculptor.

“Letting Light In” features a series of Swedish landscapes, reminiscent of Turner and Monet, that capture light at various times of the day on an isolated lakeside. Taha’s process of painting is a form of meditation for him so that sometimes the lakeside is barely visible and the finished image has layers of meaning reflecting his inner journey through the process of creation, sometimes including words.

“The process is key,” says Taha. “The heightened sense of openness to all stimuli, both internal and external, facilitates an ultimately positive spiritual transformation. That is why I paint and sculpt.” The paintings evoke the delicate tension between the objective and the subjective, the particular and the universal, the momentary and the timeless.

While his paintings allude to impressionism, expressionism and abstraction, Taha internalises these influences to produce paintings in a style unique to him in which light emanates not so much from

the movement of the sun across the land but from his own subjective space. Taha Afshar has recently exhibited in London and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Sunny Art Prize and Royal Society of Marine Artists awards.

Ines Graham, owner and director of The Minster Gallery, is delighted to be presenting this major exhibition of Taha’s work. ”Taha’s talent enables him to grasp the infinite beauty of nature revealing the beauty of the human soul through this process. This is a major exhibition for Hampshire and we are delighted to be presenting Taha’s new paintings.”