Since ancient times, Persian culture has spread its influence through the Indo-Pacific. The importance of the garden as a symbol of paradise is partly due to Persian traditions. Today, there is a flourishing of creativity inside Iran, despite the challenges from without. And in other cultures, the Iranian diaspora is making important contributions to their host cultures.
Mehrnoosh Ganji ✿ Soul Star Pendant-A film by Mark Newbound captures the quiet focus and skill involved in the jewellery craft of Mehrnoosh Ganji. Soul Star Pendant reflects the spiritual values underlying its production.
Saeed Arzegan ✿ Love whisper-Our May laurel goes to an Iranian artist who reflects his culture's mastery of wood inlay and crafts a story about standing up for the victimised.
Persian Renaissance continues…-Global art jewellery is undergoing a Renaissance as non-Western artists are using this modern medium to renew past layers of their culture. Two Iranian artists are at the forefront of this. A recent exhibition of Ailin Abrisham and Baharak Omidfar give presence to the ancient goddess Anahita.
Filming Mehrnoosh Ganji’s magnificent new work-Mehrnoosh Ganji was our garlandee for the Persian Prospect issue. Here Mark Newbound records the artist her self as she delicately dis-assembles and re-assembles her new work, Golestan Palace.
Behnaz Barabarian: Love in the Qajar period-The Qajar dynasty ruled Iran in the nineteenth century. Their Turkic culture created quite a distinctive style in decorative arts. It is one of the many periods that contemporary Iranian jewellers draw on today as part of their historical palette.
Recent calligraphic art by Reza Safavi and Zahra Tondkar-Following up on our Persian Prospect issue, here are some recent miniature artworks by master artists Reza Safavi and Zahra Tondkar from Mashhad, proofing that Iranian creative skills are alive and well. This is a recreation of a Koran’s cover from the tenth century. Its original is held at the Malek National Museum in Tehran. All cracks, fractures, colour fading, and whatever that occurred in the original by the passage of time has been recreated carefully and intricately. Finally, the surface of work has been covered by a combination of lacquer and fixative. d
The mysterious desert in new Persian jewellery-Putting on the jewellery that carries the nature of the desert, takes us to the journey to reach our inner jewel of silence, where we could sedately observe the truth of being. A new exhibition of jewellery from the region of Kerman gives unique expression to the mystical meaning of the desert in Persian culture.
The Persian House-It was for about more than a year that the idea of introducing and displaying a contemporary "Persian house" at the Craft Fair was discussed with the Cultural Heritage Organization. Finally by July in this year 2017, the 28th Tehran Handicraft Exhibition contemporary "Persian house" was presented, in collaboration Mr Anooshfar, the Art Center Gallery and the artists.
What’s love got to do with it?-Recently I visited the Iranian city of Sirjan, as part of a World Crafts Council delegation to assess their claim to be a World Craft City for Kilim, Shiriki-Pech to be precise. On arrival, we found billboards around the city describing it as Kilim City - "Warp of love and art".
Jwahr: New Iranian and Persian Jewellery-This exhibition is a selection of work who have shown at Aria Gallery in Tehran. The work heralds a new generation of artists in the field of global art jewellery. Their work shows the capacity of jewellery to give personal meaning to lost traditions and stories.
A hundred thousand tulips-we had the chance at the moroccan deli-cacy to examine the redolent jewellery of mehrnoosh ganji at first hand. the afternoon commenced with a welcome from the owner hana assafiri who talked about the values of tolerance and the process of commissioning the beautiful fit-out for her cafe from artisans in morocco.
Garland in a Trumped-up world-We're planning to look what some identify as "post-capitalism", in particular the emergence of the sharing economy and decline of consumerism. In line with our commitment to explore "the story behind", we want to go beyond theory to develop some practical models: how can a life making objects today be sustained outside the market? We will evaluate alternatives such as craft libraries, social objects, traditional gift exchange and 3D printing. In the end, we hope to share responses to declining employment that are more constructive than building walls or expelling foreigners.
Persian soirée – 20 November 2pm-Garland invites you to a special event for wrap up our Persian Prospect issue. Enjoy an afternoon of Iranian/Persian culture, including a first-hand encounter with Mehrnoosh Ganji's magical jewellery, reflections from writer Sanaz Fotouhi about the pomegranate, a "faal" ritual of Persian poetry, discussion about the impact of Iranian culture in Australia, forthcoming projects and afternoon treats from the Moroccan Deli-cacy.
Garland #4 “The Persian Prospect” is out now-IRAN | AUSTRALIA | INDIA | JAPAN | SINGAPORE | SOUTH KOREA Garland looks to the prospect of closer ties between Iran and the West. Articles help us understand the wonders of Iranian craft that await the world, in particular the great craft cities of Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad and Lalejin. The Quarterly Essay by Sanaz Fotouhi highlights the growing contribution of Iranian artists in other countries, while the online exhibition features embellishment as a Persian attitude that is also present in artists working in modernist cultures. Other articles feature ceramics from India, Singapore, Japan, Sydney and Kyneton.
Quarterly essay – A pomegranate’s secret: The jewels of Mehrnoosh Ganji-I had read about Mehrnoosh Ganji. She was a young talented young Iranian woman who had migrated to Australia in 2012 and had continued her passion of becoming a jewellery designer. I had seen her work in pictures, and was looking forward to seeing her and the pieces physically to try and understand more.
Workshop of the World: Lalejin-Mr Asgari has been making pots for more than eighty years. We go inside his famous pottery workshop to see how pottery is made in Lalejin.
Place Matters: Mashhad – City of Turquoise-The first of the Place Matters series features Mashhad, the Silk Road city that is legendary for its turquoise, much appreciated by the 20 million tourists who visit every year. We hear how the story of a village donkey has inspired the creation of a new Silk Road for the 21st century.
Craft Classic: The Persian carpet-The Persian carpet is a one of the most popular heirloom objects present in the world today. We look at a workshop where they are made in Tabriz, Iran and look at how people today are sharing their lives with this wondrous rugs.
Paisley stands tall again: Akhtar Ismailzadeh’s patteh embroidery-Ansie van der Walt writes about the patteh embroidery of Akhtar Ismailzadeh, an Iranian migrant living in South Australia. The paisley is sometimes inteprets as the cyprus tree which has been bent by the hardships of exile. Akhtar's work corrects this by straightening the paisley again.
The next Taj Mahal?-The Taj Mahal remains today as a testament to the extraordinary beauty of Persian design and craftsmanship. The skills that produced this in the seventeenth century are very much alive in Iran today.
Women animate Iran-Gender is one of the points of contention between Iran and the West. Iran is perceived as a patriarchal society that oppresses the rights of women. Women are rarely seen on the political stage, cannot sing in public and must wear the hijab. The treatment of women has been one of the main barriers for engaging with Iran.
Embellish – call for works-You are invited to submit images for the online exhibition Embellish. This is open to artists and craftspersons from Iran, of Iranian background, inspired by things Persian or those who express the decorative spirit through their work.
The laughter of pomegranates-The pomegranate is one of Iran's many gifts to the world. For the Persian poet Rumi, the pomegranate has something special to tell us about life.
The Persian Prospect-Garland is working on ways in which foreign designers and artists will be able to collaborate with Iranian craftspersons, through commissioning works or taking residencies. The Iranian diaspora can help us learn about the sensibilities of contemporary Persian culture. We are seeking your support to commission local Iranian writers for our special Iranian issue