By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Fatemeh Emdadian is to me one of Iran’s best sculptors, and it was a great pleasure to learn about and go to see her recent exhibition at the Hoor Art Gallery. Fortunately the exhibition opening was on a Friday afternoon, and as I was sure it would become too busy later, we went there just after the opening hour at 4 pm to make sure we could look leisurely at the wonderful works.
Emdadian is one of the few artists
At the exhibition I met Fati, as many call her, wearing a white outfit most becoming of her along with her radiant and charming smile. She had recovered from her illness which had delayed this exhibition by over a year.
Fatemeh Emdadian works with wood, bronze and casts. She avoids stone as she finds it cold. Her main raw material is wood, as she sees more life in it, she told me. She makes very large wooden sculptures. I have visited her workshop in the past, it really looks and feels like a heavy duty workshop, with long strong chains and a sliding block and tackle to move the large wood around so that she can work on her creations. For the peace and tranquility which she needs when she works, and in order to avoid others when she is cutting the wood, the workshop is a little way away from their house in Mehrshahr, Karaj where she lives with her husband, the well known artist, professor and painter Behrouz Moslemian, and their two daughters, one of whom is already an established artist.
When I asked her what would be the title of this exhibition she thought very carefully and said, “Love, Death and Living” and when I asked her why she uses the wood she said because wood’s color is light and the great natural feel of it gives it a sense of being alive once you do the work.
She told me that from the beginning she knew what she wanted the exhibition layout to be like. She wanted a large exhibition hall and a high ceiling to give her works message to the audience. She said that she is happy with the results.
At this exhibition, she had left the
wood to be its natural color but in the past she treated the wood with a dark
stain and then polished it. When I
asked her why she changed, she said that she wanted the work to retain the
natural purity of the wood. As many
of you may know she has been working professionally since 1968 when she was only
20 years old. Since then she has
had many exhibitions in
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