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Fatemeh Takht Keshian

Negotiating 1

Mixed media on canvas, 2013

102 x 56 cm


"In the Negotiation 1, the motif of the carpet merged with the portrait as a symbol of tradition that is always present in our identity. The light round shape is borrowed from an image of the shadow of an old public bathroom’s ceiling in Kerman, Iran. This shape is based on a hole on the roof of certain buildings to transfer day light into building. In Iranian architecture it is a popular design that is used in the public buildings such as mosques and bazars.

The composition of both works is almost the same. The only differences are the eyes; they are open on one and closed on the other. After transferring these two sketches onto canvas, the story of each work narrates itself. Both works show two different manners with traditions and heritage. The face with open eyes represents a person who has taken a critical look at the traditions and heritage that into which she was born and within which she has lived. However, one just watches in silence everything around her;the other accepts her society with all of its belonging as they exist. She is observing how tradition has begun to pale and sometimes be represented in a wrong way. Nonetheless, she does not try to repair or criticise them. She closes her eyes and draws alongside her heritage. On the other hand, in the work with open eyes, she found herself in the same situation but decided to keep her eyes open and be selective. She repairs some damaged parts, keeps the parts that she wants and re-describes and re-illustrates parts from hersociety’s traditions. In other words, she has made her own narration of her traditions.At this stage, sewing as a traditional Iranian female skill entered into my works. I repeated this old tradition by using a dark thread to sew the outlines of the carpet’s flowers. Thistechnique, visually, connects the different layers that merge together, and metaphorically the technique combines the layers of identity together. The sewing lines combine the manner of my old Iranian tradition in painting with an aspect of my female character.In the other work, the woman with the closed eyes, I keep not only the damaged parts from transferring but also I deliberately create several scratches on it. Those scratches are a sign that traditions get stale over time and the forms or ceremonies that remain as tradition have descended into mere habits that are increasingly insignificant. Those scratches scrape colours and blur traditions and even represent them in a different way.This suggests that if we leave traditions to find their place in current life, they would move, change, and weaken. Even the plain colours that fill some parts of the flower could not prevent this from happening. The lines that cover her mouth are the only strong (bold) form in this work. This drawing was informed by the sketch book; it reminds me of the carpet with the warp of letters and weft of lines. The drawing lines cover her mouth. They represent a self-imposed silence, a silence that is adorned and admired." ©Fatemeh Takht Keshian (text & images)


Fatemeh Takht Keshian | Negotiating 1| Mixed media on canvas | 102x56 cm

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