The series Aghl-e Sorkh, Crimson Mind, is influenced by Sohrevardi’s philosophy of Eshragh (Illumination) where light and colour are a continuum of manifestations by physical and metaphysical “bodies” (Hayakel-e norieh). Vision can transcend itself to another state where awareness goes beyond linear limitation into an abstract world of dissolving and emanating colours.
In this series the dominant black strokes combining with red lines and white edges are an attempt to unfold this hidden world.
Travelling through unconscious depths the reflected light manifests a sudden consciousness. White edges allude to light piercing through lines, waking up dark corners to unexpected movement. Red and black’s dominance is expressed by delicate utterances of white, unassuming and yet pervasive.
Colourscape is the story of a journey inspired by the allegory of the Conference of the Birds, a poem by 12th century Persian poet/philosopher, Farid-Uddin Attar. He describes how a group of birds embark on a journey to find the legendary Phoenix, the symbol of eternal rebirth.
To achieve this they must pass through seven valleys: Questing, Love, Knowledge, Independence, Detachment and Unity, Bewilderment, and finally Liberation.
This series depicts each of the valleys employing colour and feather motifs to evoke either the birds or the space they find themselves in, allowing the viewers to participate in this journey and become travellers themselves.
Colourscape is composed of a series of etchings with hints of colours emphasising depth and texture. In this series colour and texture occupy a central role corresponding to the birds’ journey combining the temporal with the spiritual, juxtaposing the travellers’ perceptions of changing personal space and the passage of time.
This series is again inspired by Persian poetry and Sufi philosophy. The works reflect the images of the past, the myths, the fluent stories that change shape with time and yet carry with them the unconscious emotions affecting our daily life.
It uses layers of colours and textures which reflect and refract the mythological, philosophical, and emotional worlds of Sufi poets.
In 'Passages', for the exhibition at London's Barbican Library, colours and discovered new expressions of transitory lines coexist. Familiar themes have been revisited in a new light...
"There is a story to tell", "Where the sea saw the sky", "My search starts to fly" are part of the new chapter in the 'Travel Stories' series.
Unbound Expressions is the title of a book by Neda Dana-Haeri and Tajalli Keshavarz (see below).
A coming together of expressions seeing no boundaries in emotions and sensualities, free from what must and must not be done. The collection “Unbound Expressions” uses colours in the expanse of abstraction, uttering words forming themselves into poetry: Ten poems inspired by the paintings, ten images inspired by Tajalli’s poetry. For the authors, these expressions do not stop in their own realm, they are not limited to a frame or a piece of paper; they express themselves beyond colours and words. Colours fly, written words sing and touch the flowing blood as they effect a pulse, a glance.
The works are all on paper, acrylic monotypes and watercolour.
Selected pieces in print and online
Contemporary Art in the Middle East
Part of the ARTWORLD series from Black Dog publishing.
Painting the Persion Book of the Kings Today
- Ancient Text & Modern Images' from Talking Tree Books
by Neda Dana-Haeri and Tajalli Keshavarz. Published 2013