I am an Iranian born multi-disciplinary artist based in London.
My art explores my fascination with the universality of human experiences and the stories that depict the major transitions in life. I also explore the wisdom found in folkloric archetypes, which are timelessly relevant and relatable. Although our experiences vary massively, the emotive aspects of life, our reactions and reflections, is what we can use to relate to one another.
I depict my experiences in the style of folkloric images; my paintings always tell a story. I am also very inspired by fables, and fairy tales, and I am developing an ever-expanding visual language that incorporates the use of symbolism.
For this issue of Brainscan and the theme of ‘Immigration and Identity’, I have chosen to share some pieces from an ongoing body of work called Never Picked.
Within this watercolour series, I incorporated pressed flowers which I found and collected during my trips to Iran. The flowers were collected at sentimental sites, or places of new discovery which allowed me to learn more and connect more to the country in which I was born in and miss dearly.
The artworks incorporate the flowers and represent the places where they were collected from, becoming personifications of the space. The main featured piece is titled Rostamabad. This is the name of a very small rural village located in the valley of a mountain in the region of Rasht which is in Northern Iran and the birthplace of my mother, my grandparents and the nexus of my family tree. The village is quite barren and not much happens there except the cultivation of olives and olive-based products like soap and oil. There are also a few rice fields which my grandmother used to work in. The flowers in this piece rose in the same soil that raised generations of my family, and this is the sentiment and the symbolism that inspired me to create this artwork. When I visit this village, observe the day-to-day life of the villagers, imagining that life for my family, the contrast between this and my day-to-day life in London is astounding to me.
As I sit and look down at the valley, I find myself imagining their past, but also what my life would have been like if my grandmother hadn’t migrated from there to the capital city Tehran for work, and the eventual migration of my mother and father from Tehran to London. Without these movements I could have been living my life on this mountain herding ducks and picking fruit from trees.
You can see more of Kimia's work on Instagram and in the gallery below