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Report: Second Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival

By Ahmad Nadalian
Photos by  Mansour Vahdani,  R. Balochi,  Ameneh Raisi,  Gizella Varga Sinai and Ahmad Nadalian.



During the last week of 2007 (25 -29, 2007) a new environmental art festival was held on the coast of Hormoz, in the Persian Gulf. More than 80 artists gathered on this beautiful island to create environmental installations and sand sculptures. The festival also included a number of art performances.





The Hungarian-born artist Gizella Varga Sinai, who is a painter and has lived in Iran during the past forty years, painted on the rocks and created an environmental installation of stones.  Samira Sinai, who has a theater background, filmed and is planning to create video art.





For the second Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival I presented my latest cylinder seal which depicts a goddess combined with a fish. I printed this cylinder seal along the local beach.




My recent cylinder seal


I also realized another new project: deer hoof prints and tracks on the sand beach. Hormoz Island has a number of local deer. In recent years some of the deer population has died due to a lack of rain and a shortage of "sweet water" on the island.


People in Hormoz Island believe that when a deer is thirsty, it comes near the beach and the sea water then gathers in its foot prints and becomes sweet so that the deer can drink it. (This is a belief and miracle). The fact is that now because of a shortage of rain some of the deer have died.


I was inspired by this belief and by using local lime stone, made deer feet and printed them on the sand of beach.  The artists who participated in the festival were very excited to see that deer came close to our camp, but the deer was actually me having printed unusual patterns. (Environmental deer).



The local red earth named "Gelak". This red earth is used to cook "Soragh" which is a traditional food. It consists of organic earth, fish and a kind of lemon or sour orange "Nareng". Usually Soragh is served with bread. Experience shows that the colored earth doesn't affect the body, so we enjoyed using this earth as a medium for art.


Unfortunately, a local company exports this valuable earth and uses it in some industry. Unfortunately, most of the people of Hormoz are poor and have no income and many receive charity from the government. We artists aim to introduce the value of this earth as an art material and we invite all artists across the globe to visit this beautiful island.



I also used Hormoz's red earth and made new paintings of portraits and hands.  Like many other works of mine, these recent paintings show a personal interpretation of the story of the first couple (Adam & Eve).

A couple from Latvia, Ieva Usca and Janis Matvejs, joined our festival, and I painted the tree of life on their portraits. Ieva (Eve) is an environmental scientist.



Her fertility seduces him


My other works, as usual, were carvings of fish and crabs on the stones and rocks of the beach. I will carry on this tradition for my entire life.  More Images



We also had some noted international artists at this year's festival:  Two international artists from Germany named Bernhard Bub and Parisa Karimi participated as well. They are the founders of and members of Antagon group. They arrange workshops for young artists. One night we reviewed their works and discussed ideas about theater and  art performance.





... Payvand News - 01/15/08 ... --

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