Biography

Iranian-born Canadian-based artist Sara Niroobakhsh, has worked as a professor in Tehran, and is established internationally for her performative and visual concepts that expose the feminine psyche. The inner dialogue of a woman’s duty vs. desire is found in all of the artist’s works including paintings, video arts, installations and performances. Recent exhibitions include Czech China Contemporary Museum in Beijing, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, CICA Museum in South Korea. Sara’s famous work, Rice, was shown in Art Space Hamra, Beirut, 2015. Through this project, Sara has received a Residency Award at BAiR Spring Intensiv at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Calgary Canada, 2017). 

This is a global artist who imagines--and originates--with video, photography, paintings and found objects. Sara’s work reflects the myriad faces and archetypical roles that have been embraced by the women of Iran. The Party, her latest installation in Gallery 44 which received Ontario Art Council Grant, illustrates ritual as an artistic gesture and uses trays to reference the loss of individuality, service and the cultural connotation of 'tarof' or Iranian hospitality. Sara’s work evokes the feminine realm as she draws from the personal, mythological and cultural, threading the semiotic theme of beauty, isolation, creativity and fertility.

Statement

During my artistic journey, I have been able to accomplish many awards Eventhough my family wasn’t thrilled with the idea of working in this field, I attended theprovincial entrance exam and ranked first place for graphic design. My career began atthe age of fourteen when I attended a school that was specifically geared for graphicdesign. 

 However, due to a lack of facilities in the Southern region of Iran, I studied intensely topass the national exam so that I could be admitted to a university that concentrated onthe arts. I moved to Tehran after passing the exam and graduated with the prestigioushonor of gaining access galleries, museums and artistic research centers so that I couldbecome well versed in film, textile, and painting. 

 I took the National exams and ranked 3rd place in the entire Country; I was then ableto apply for my Master's degree and attended my first choice university to receive myMaster's degree. I participated in exhibitions that allowed the audience to think aboutglobal, political and personal challenges in the everyday life. 

 Soon I was teaching at universities and exploring the performing arts. I launched myfirst series of paintings: The Immigrant and had many wonderful shows. My artisticprocess borrows from the personal story, incorporates the feminine archetype andfound art. 


 My work has been inspired by everyday deeds that are performed by talented women.By using regular household items, I often try to illustrate the dullness of everyday lifethat replaces other forms of existence for the women of Iran. I have observed thematriarchs of my family trapped in endless routines: cooking rice, weaving rugs,cleaning bamboo matts and whispering lullabies to their babies. Since my art is primarilysocial commentary that reflects the traditional social norms that repress women fromleaving the home, I like to present these activities as performance art. Howeverbecause of issues of censorship, in December of 2014, I moved to Canada. Since Ihave extensive knowledge of Arabic and Iranian art/culture I was given the opportunityto work as a curator. Working as a curator, I was able to build relationships with overtwenty Middle Eastern artists by mentoring and consulting them in numerous projectswhich led them to develop successful careers in galleries and private viewing events inCanada, Lebanon and United Emirates.  

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