Artist: Mitra Mahmoodi
My recent ceramics work is based on natural processes and raw earth materials. Experimentation is an important aspect of my studio practice and I focus on manipulating common materials using uncommon techniques. The forms are abstracted yet resemble the geological features of their origin. For example, in my Reinvented Landscape series, I included a low, continuous hum sound of the Earth.
Intensely expressive and energetic in character, my work reflects my eagerness to capture the dynamics and the mysteries of creation. My work undergoes a metamorphic process when first thrown by hand and subsequently manipulated by pushing materials in and out to get to a richness in texture, form, and visual density.
My work is the dialogue between deformation and refinement, abstraction and convention, familiarity and mystery. I interrogate these diverse positions and challenge the viewer to rethink their perception by spending time in the environment I have created.
In October 2019 a wave of protest swept across Iran. The government had abruptly hiked gas prices in order to offset its budget deficit at a time of high inflation and negative economic growth. Angry protesters clashed with security forces, set government buildings and banks on fire, and blocked roads. The government responded with an iron fist, killing more than 200 protesters, arresting thousands, and shutting down the Internet across the country for about a week.
I made this body of work (Aban 98) in response to the impact of political actions not just in Iran but all over the world and its restraint in our identity formation.
Through applying texture, gestural marks, pushing the clay in and out and the installation I strived to show a glimpse how these forces could be suppressing and how people are in constant battles with those forces.