Kieran Akhtar



Artist name

Kieran Akhtar



Artwork information

Sennelier Oil Pastels on A3 90gm, 297 x 420 mm


A cloud has erupted, rain has fallen and they are found together inside. Here is an oil pastel painting of (Joe Steele) the love of Kieran's life with Kieran alongside, joyfully gazing nearby. Kieran and Joe share a favourite musician, Kate Bush, hence the title - it has felt like 'clouds' have 'busted' and out of torrential skies came the sun shining.

It is not coincidental that the skin colours are shades of blue since the depictions of Indian Gods has always interested Kieran. On the other side of the narrative, Joe's journey from Christianity to Atheism influenced the heaven-like environment that they are found in within this artwork.

The painting is bathed in panic, confusion and darkness - but also flooded with wonder, enjoyment and brightness. There are many inner feelings exposed and emotions developed as a result of this relationship, however, one can reflect on this painting and see that it encapsulates a beautiful mess. The beauty of Sennelier's lipstick-like oil pastel texture creates a sultry kaleidoscopic vision. These complexities are layered within the art by each stroke of the pastels, like thousands of drops of rain.

After years of exploration in different relations, and various experiences in overcoming his own demons, Kieran is so happy he has survived to meet with Joe. This painting is a celebration for the whirlwind of 4 months that they had had at the time of painting, floating in the clouds together as one.


About the artist

Kieran Akhtar is influenced by his Indian heritage and London upbringing; taking inspiration from experimental films, hip-hop music, and the universal beauty of nature. He is the co-founder of Rococo World, a digital content creation partnership for alternative and/or LGBT+ musicians. As a curator and programmer, he has been commissioned by the London Indian Film Festival and the Barbican Centre.