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Parastou Forouhar at the Leighton House Museum, London

By Syma Sayyah

Often life brings us to situations that we had neither foreseen nor planned.   It has been a long time since I have written anything, and the reason is that my base has changed and we are now in quiet Oxford for the time being.  Thus it was a delightful change when last night we went to London to attend an exhibition by the profound and well known Iranian born artist Ms Parastou Forouhar.  There we met many of our friends as well as many people in the arts scene of London.

Parastou Forouhar

I had been to several of Parastou Forouhar's exhibitions in Tehran in past years but had never managed to meet her in person.  What a delight this talented artist is and such a warm and sympathetic human being, so down to earth, serious and focused and ready to explain the details of her work  and to help the viewer to get a better understanding of her art and the thoughts behind it.

The most notable work was an innovative installation titled "The Funeral" which consisted of many office chairs covered by the material which one sees often during Ashura and mourning ceremonies in Iran, with words written in Arabic in colors, mostly red, green and white, on black cloth. 

Another display is her 2004 work with many traffic signs using male and female images in a very skillful, meaningful and eruditely witty presentation.   We liked her new fabric patterns which despite their beautiful overall patterns incorporated images of knives, grenades and guns that sent a shiver down your spine when you felt the mixture of the beauty and horror intertwined so gracefully.

I found Parastou's work mature, insightful and shrewd.  I felt that she has now moved to a new phase of her talent expressing the deep beliefs she carries with her for freedom and an open society.

I hope that many of you who are in London or passing through will find the time to visit this outstanding exhibition.  The exhibition also marks the publication of her book titled "Parastou Forouhar -Art, Life and Death in Iran", edited by Rose Issa.

The exhibition is at Leighton House Museum in central London which itself is a lovely place to visit with many eastern and many Iranian exquisite artefacts.  The exhibition was staged by the well known promoter of Iranian art and artists Rose Issa, and runs until 6th November  from 10am - 5.30pm (Closed Tuesdays)

Leighton House Museum (1st Floor): 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ.  Tel 020 7602 3316
Rose Issa Projects, 269 Kensington High Street, London W8 6NA.   Tel 020 7602 7700

... Payvand News - 10/04/10 ... --

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