Imaginary Homeland

2021 (ongoing), multimedia installation (video, painting, installation)

This ongoing project is based on a fictional story, the ideal landscape of home, a homeland known primarily from a distance through memory. This imaginary picture shaped through time and experiences of displacement and formed through fictional imagery.

The project is centred on an artist/painter, who is also a London bus driver. Her paintings are mainly from flowers called Fritillaria Imperialis, which represent her daydreams of a romanticized homeland. The Fritillaria Imperialis or Crown Imperial originated in the Iranian mountains called Alborz. Considered as one of the most distinctive flowers for its unique characteristics, it has become the symbol of myths and legends in Persian and Turkish cultures. In particular its uncommon shape with the petals drooping downwards and its leaves which look as if the plant is wearing a crown.  

As another part of this project addresses the issues related to the idea of authenticity, identity by referencing the works of 17th century Dutch artists from the Crown Imperials. By creating a character and naming these paintings after him/her, this part of the project questions ideas of authorship and identity, the latter in particular is related to the diasporic experience. I raise the question of whether I, as the narrator and also the viewer/visitor, would identify myself as the bus driver, the artist, both or none of them. In other words, the question of authorship and authenticity of the artwork is the other point of reference.

150 x 100cm, acrylic, 2021-2022

‘Impossible Bouquets’ is the name of the 17th century Dutch paintings by Dutch masters. These artists painted different flowers, which were considered as ‘exotic’ flowers, in a vase that could never be together at one time because of different geographical and seasonal origins. Here, flower paintings reflect the fashionable concerns of botanists, who traded seeds and bulbs in the hope of cultivating new floral varieties. The main idea behind these paintings was that the flowers could be enjoyed in all seasons and all year long. In other words, these Bouquets paintings do not reflect reality, but represent ‘fantasy’.

Exhibtion installation at Gallery O, Tehran Iran 2022