Bita Ghezelayagh, Pen and Rose Squared I, 2015, 25 metal alloy frames, brass, cotton, velvet, silk and ink, 90 x 90 cm
Free, open to all
8 March – 4 May
10.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday (not open at weekends)
As part of the 2017 Arts and Learning Programme subcultures theme, we are pleased to be exhibiting a selection of works by Italian-born Iranian artist Bita Ghezelayagh whose area of research has predominantly been the subcultural Iranian feltmakers – who traditionally make clothing, tents and carpets – to create a collection of decorative costumes that combine talismanic symbols, silk-screen printing and embroidery.
For Ghezelayagh, felt embodies qualities such as simplicity and resilience. Feltmaking is one of many traditions that she believes is being lost in contemporary Iran and one that through her practice she aims to preserve.
Ghezelayagh was born in Florence, Italy in 1966 and now lives in London. In 1984, she went to Paris to study architecture at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette. After receiving her MA, she went to Tehran in 1994 to work in building restoration for the Association of Iranian Calligraphers in Tehran (Anjomane Khoshnevissan). Ghezelayagh has been the art director for three notable Iranian films, including The Pear Tree (Derakhte Golabi) by Dariush Mehrjui.
In 2003, Ghezelayagh started studying the historic craft of feltmaking and had her first solo exhibition at the House of Artists (Khane Honarmandan) in Tehran in 2008.
Bita Ghezelayagh, The Letter that never Arrived (VII) (carpet cloak), 2013, Woven carpets (front and back), silk embroidery, metal tokens, old pen nibs, 112 x 110 cm
Recent group shows include the Manouchehri House Gallery, Kashan (2017); Shirin Gallery, Tehran (2016); Aaran Projects Gallery (2016); the Islamic Festival, Sharjah Museum of Contemporary Art, UAE (2014); Rose Issa Gallery, London (2014); Caught in the Crossfire, Herbert Art Gallery and Musuem, Coventry (2013); The Jameel Prize 2011 exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, touring to the Institute du Monde Arab, Paris (2011-12); the Casa Arabe, Madrid (2012), the Cantor Arts Centre, Stanford, (2012-13) and the San Antonio Museum of Art (2013); Miragens, a touring exhibition at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia (2010-11); Zendegi: Twelve Contemporary Iranian Artists (curated by Rose Issa Projects) at the Beirut Exhibition Center (2011); and Four Contemporary Iranian Artists at Art Dubai (2010).
Ghezelyagh’s work is in the public collection of the British Museum, London; Farjam Foundation, Dubai; the Jameel Foundation, Saudi Arabia; and the Devi Art Foundation, Delhi.
The works in The Foyer Gallery will be up until Friday 5 May. The artist’s latest works will be in the Hutchison Room at Asia House at the private view evening until 11.00 on Friday 10 March.