Statement by Parham Ghalamdar:
Maliheh Zafarnezhad is a collage artist. Her practice reflects on her involvement with diaspora, displacement, cross-cultural experiences and most importantly her life experience as an Iranian- Irish woman who was raised in Iran. Maliheh uses her personal antiquated family photos alongside archival photos of historical illustrations to create multi-layered pieces of collages. These works could be seen as romantic attempts to delicately touch and provoke finest human emotions and probably to outline the paradoxes and complexity of identity.
Since the displaced artist struggles with a sense of loss. Therefore there is an urgency boiling beneath the skin, the urge to reclaim what is one’s birth given right: The language, culture, sense of belonging, communal solidarity and etc. The displaced artist wants to go back and thus has a nostalgic look towards the past. It is important to notice that nostalgia is a coping mechanism automatically sparked to deliver a sense of continuity in terms of identity. This explains the nostalgic feelings of Malihe’s work, it is a natural – yet conscious and calculated – respond to the sense of loss and displacement; it is a search for cohesion. Maliheh has an MA in History of Art and Architecture from UL in Ireland and she is based in UK now.
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