March 12 - June 7, 2020 Skills for Solitude Workshops May 9: Abstract Drawing May 16: Artists Books May 23: Botanical Drawing May 30:
March 12 – June 7, 2020
Skills for Solitude Workshops
May 9: Abstract Drawing
May 16: Artists Books
May 23: Botanical Drawing
May 30: Wrappings
We are pleased to present Thread, a solo exhibition of work by Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi. Bringing together works in drawing and sculpture, this exhibition showcases two specific projects.
Ma Miaeem va Miravim (We Come and Go), 2016-19, is a series of drawings which translates my first-grade English book, We Come and Go, from the Dick and Jane series into Persian-English, in which Persian words are written using the Roman alphabet. The title phrase ‘Ma Miaeem va Miravim’ is the Persian-English translation of ‘We Come and Go’. The children’s names, Dick, Jane, and Sally are replaced by Iranian names, Babak, Mina, and Leila. The colourful homogenized illustrations from the source book, We Come and Go, are reproduced in black and white with some thematic changes and translations. Several layers of dark lines are drawn obsessively using graphite pencil to cover the parts of the images that depict children playing outside in ways that contrast with how Iranian children played back then. For example, North American toys such as roller-skates and a big toy car are covered with the dark lines. On other pages, a white picket fence is replaced by a tall brick wall, and a milk van is replaced by a motorcycle, as these were more common in Iran. Working with notions of “third space” or “the space in-between” and the globalization of English, this work explores how the use of the hybrid language Persian-English affects an Iranian sense of identity in a globalized world. It investigates the socio-cultural implications of hybridity as they relate to interethnic exchange and the globalizing process of travel and translation.
Thread is a series of sculptures made from everyday objects wrapped in black string. It includes traditional Iranian objects, such as a copper tray and blue tiles, and modern objects from Western culture, such as adidas shoes, and headphones. Each sculpture has its own title which includes the name of the object in Persian-English as well as its English translation, for instance, Sini (Tray), Kaashi (Tile), and Samavar (Samovar). The objects in Thread are among the precious objects I brought with me from my home city of Isfahan in Iran. Together the objects represent the care and protection taken when the objects are seen as tokens of phenomenological or collective memory. In modern day Iranian culture, these objects are part of the typical experience of culture which includes a combination of both traditional Iranian and contemporary Western influences. The meticulous work of wrapping the objects in black string is employed to hide, protect, and preserve the precious cultural signifiers for the Persian diaspora. It aims to highlight the changes in cultural traditions and the influence of English and Western culture by presenting both traditional and contemporary objects together. By placing the objects on plinths, this work borrows from the vocabulary of ethnographic display of cultural artifacts, but by obscuring, protecting, and wrapping the objects, it places them in the context of artistic objects. The crossovers between sculpture and textile work take into question the histories of art and craft, as well as the social aspects of gender and gendered labour. Some of the traditional objects in this artwork were purchased at Isfahan’s Grand Bazaar where shopkeepers/artisans often use string and paper to wrap the objects they sell to prevent them from being damaged. Their use of string and their careful wrapping of the traditional objects and handmade artifacts has influenced the creation of Thread.
Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi is a visual artist based in Vancouver, BC. Originally from Isfahan, Iran, she immigrated to Canada 20 years ago where she has received an MFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2017) and a BFA from University of British Columbia (2007). Her recent practice is mostly engaged with drawing and sculpture, although she has worked in a variety of media such as photography, painting, and installation. Modarres-Sadeghi has exhibited her work at several art galleries in Greater Vancouver, including group exhibitions at the Cityscape Community Art Space, Surrey Art Gallery, Concourse Gallery (ECU), as part of MFA Interim exhibition, Charles H. Scott Gallery (ECU), as part of MFA graduate exhibition, and most notably Centre A, as part of a group exhibition, Spring Exhibition, in spring 2017. After the Doris Crowston Gallery show, Modarres-Sadeghi’s work will be shown at Emrooz Gallery in Isfahan, Iran, in August 2020.
May 20 (Wednesday) - June 7 (Sunday)
Doris Crowston Gallery
5714 Medusa Street, Sechelt