Artist: Roxana Manouchehri
During my stay in Tehran in July and August 2021, Taliban, the fundamental terrorist group, captured Afghanistan. As a neighbouring country, we Iranians feel lots of fear and worries and a deep empathy with Afghan people, especially women. While checking the bad news every single day, I decided to create this series based on the martyr theme. This project has been inspired by the story of Saint Sebastian, who vizualised torture, death and darkness. Saint Sebastian was initially tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows, though this did not kill him. He was rescued and healed by Saint Irene of Rome, which became a popular subject in 17th-century painting. In all versions of the story, shortly after his recovery he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, and as a result was clubbed to death. These 6 pieces are designed to be in one installation. The shape of the installation is inspired by geometrical patterns which are well known in Middle Eastern art history and have spiritual meanings. The camouflage patterns on each canvas bring the sense of army fear and at the same time a contemporary element and feeling to the works.
Roxana Manouchehri is a visual artist and curator, born in Tehran and based in Dublin. She has received an MFA in fine art from the Tehran University of Art. She has been teaching art and giving talks and workshops since 1995 in different universities in Tehran, Seoul and Dublin, including Trinity College, the Chester Beatty collection, Open House Dublin and Mother Tongues language festival. Roxana has had more than 50 group exhibitions internationally and 17 solo exhibitions in Tehran, Seoul, Dubai, Madrid, Munich, London, Brussels, Rauma and Dublin, including the RHA and the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery. Etemad Gallery in Tehran presents her works and Roya Khadjavi is her agent in NYC. Her works are in some important private and public collections internationally such as OPW, AIB bank, AXA insurance in Dublin and Asia Art Network in Seoul. Her main interest is drawing. She is skilful in geometrical patterns, reverse painting on glass/mirror and Arabesque patterns. Research into European medieval and Persian manuscripts are the main inspirations for her practice.