Iranian Velvet, part 2

Private photos transformed into velvet tapestries. Sizes: 2x(100x75cm, aubergine red), 2x(50x70cm, pink). 2020

Above: Iranian Velvet, part 2: After Dinner

In January 2019 I was an artist-in-residence at the Aria Residency in Tehran, Iran. During my stay at the Aria Residency I made five canvases with velvet, replicas of photos I took on the streets of Tehran; please see the page on Iranian Velvet on this website for more information on that project.

Back home in The Netherlands, I continued to collaborate with Iranian female artists and women who I’ve met during my stay in Tehran. I wanted to tell their stories that they could not easily share at home. I wanted to portray them in an anonymous way at a moment where they could truly feel free and be themselves without having to worry about any laws that they could break by simply being themselves. I asked them to send me photos of situations where they felt very happy but at the same time they would not be able to publicly share those moments or photos because of all the laws on how Iranian women should behave or dress. I transformed those photos into velvet tapestries, to honour them and their stories.

Four tapestries were made: Wedding, Cake, After Dinner and Girls.

Just as with the round velvet canvasses of Iranian Velvet (part 1), the looks of the tapestries change depending on the angle of the viewer towards the fabric. In After Dinner, embroidery has been added to the dress of the sleeping women. Embroidery that sometimes reveals itself, and sometimes does not.

Above: After Dinner, details.
Below: Cake.

Above and below: Cake, details.

Above: Girls and Wedding. Below: Wedding, detail.