Attention to, and attentiveness towards, the very notion of light and illumination in thoughts, worldview, and art of Iran dates back to the era of Medes and Mithraism. The symbolic use of light by artists has evolved and while remaining a core cultural component has now moved away from its mythological definition to become more tangible and human-oriented compared to its historical essence. (Courtesy Soudeh Davoud)
As Gita Meh states “light is at the core of all existence – it is needed by nature and every living being for survival and the future” and thus, light in all its forms acts as the fulcrum of this show. Delight of the Light provides a spectrum of alternative realities, imagined, or felt that resonate on a fundamental level.
Davoud’s works dance in a fragile luminosity shared with the mountainous surreal landscapes of Misaghi, while Feizbakhsh’s abstract paintings address growth, domination, and deterioration in nature; its shadowy, impenetrable, distant, and direful aspects. Similarly, Abdolpanah’s mixed media works engage with the multi-sensorial experience of interacting with nature. She sees her artistic practice as the “deposition of emotions and observations that represent the fluidity, dynamism and magic of the natural world.” Dehdari also finds inspiration through nature intertwining calligraphy and pattern, bringing energetic tones to her trees.
Where Abdolpanah’s art toys with the notion of art as a subconscious action, Misaghi too, questions the certainty of what we deem to be reality, and explains it is the recreation of reality in her subconscious imagination that creates her final work. In her consideration of the concept of the home, wider notions of identity, history, and geography are brought into Misaghi’s work. In a similar vein, Nazeri’s powerful paintings modernise Surrealism’s lawless aims through her use of bold colours and pared-down compositions that bring a hallucinatory quality of a dream into her joyous works. The combination of her subconscious thoughts and unconventional spaces lead the viewer to consider surprising new perspectives. Likewise, Amiryeganeh’s work plays with what she calls the entanglement of two voids; this idea of division and decomposition in which humans are an ever-changing object, “With an end unwritten in time and place.”
The works brought together in this show exemplify the intuitive use of light by contemporary emerging Iranian women artists and demonstrate their reinterpretation of it to reflect modern Iranian culture.
Exhibition text by Gita Meh and Luli Gibbs
View exhibition catalogue
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