Gallery – Maliheh Zafarmezhad
In the first of our Gallery series, we look at a series of works by Maliheh Zafarmezhad.
In our new virtual ‘Gallery’ series, we will be looking in turn at individual works or a series of related works by one of our Arts Central residents.
Our first exhibit is Maliheh Zafarmezhad’s series, ‘The New Normal’.
She explains the background to this work:
‘My new series of works, which is called ‘The New Normal’, has consisted of ten mixed-media sculptural works, a majority of which I have made during the third UK lockdown. The idea for this new series has been inspired by what I have experienced as a mother and also a wife in a so-called New Normality. I was also feeling desperate as a mother tolerating an enormous pressure of trying my best towards becoming a great mother to my son at that time – a mythical mother.
‘Nature played a big role in that period of time as my family and I were exposed to many parks and woods around Milton Keynes, an inevitable attempt to stay optimistic and
healthy. Swans were the creatures that I was continuously seeing, even more frequently than seeing other people as many places were closed, quiet, empty and abandoned. You may see swans in most of my works in this series; that gradually became an indication, a symbol of strength, faith and hope for better days to come as I was exercising to stay strong, loyal and in great shape (mentally and physically).
‘I used to exploit old family photographs in my works, but after the pandemic and spending an exhaustive amount of time in nature, I started to take images of the environment I was experiencing, my son, my husband, capturing the
real-time moments to which my presence was exposed. I transferred these images into a body of new wooden assemblage, an experimentation towards new challenges of the use of new and different materials in my art practice. I learned how to cut different types of wood, transfer images on glass, and mix it with wood, all structured into a three-dimensional space.’