This exhibition is composed of a selection of recent works that have evolved from my pre-occupation with ideas and images of maps, Farsi text, architecture and natural materials.
The woven map in Where do you come from? 2013, weaves an upside down world into our usual view of the world and makes it possible to be in two places at once although one may be hidden. The other map work Where do I come from? 2013, uses the landmasses of cut up maps to inscribe a line of a poem by Rumi that has a more non-geographical yearning for home and place of belonging. I have used the second line of a larger poem and below is a translation of the first two lines:
Everyday I meditate upon this, and every night I groan
Why is my own existence to myself the least known?
Whence have I come, why this coming here?
Where to must I go, when will my home to me be shown?
Architecture of the Sky, 1 & 2, 2014 is based on brick patterns of the vaulted ceiling in a mosque in Isfahan.
Hasti Masti, 2015 plays with two Farsi words that are similar in sound and connected in meaning, Hasti meaning existence and Masti intoxication. The two words have been extensively used in Persian poetry with many different connotations.
Breath, 2013, has evolved from an earlier work, Fallen branch, 2005, a circular interconnection of branches cast in bronze that was made from the branch of a tree I found in our street. Breath is reminiscent of the bronchial branches of the lung while still remaining like branches of a tree that could have produced the oxygen we breathe.
'In each breath we take there are two gifts.
The air that fills our lungs prolongs life.
Giving that air back to the world refreshes the soul.
For each one of these Gifts, each time we receive it,
We must give thanks.'
Extract from Saadi's Gulistan, 1259 AD, Shiraz, Iran
In this beautiful verse Saadi asks us to thank God. However, I think we should thank nature, forests and trees.
Hossein Valamanesh, February 2015