Woman Crush Wednesday: Gilda Jabbari
Interview by Ayna Musayeva
What is “through the Eyvān” About? Why did you choose to name the project in two languages?
Through the Eyvān is a series of the emergence of spaces and entities, with the object situating itself within the periphery of the interior and the exterior. The photographs are derived from my fascination with traditional arts, resulting in a contemporary recreation of the 13th to 16th-century Persian miniatures; architectural forms composed of harmonious geometric and floral patterns with isometric perspectives.
The word Eyvān describes one of the characteristics of Iranian architecture in the facade of a building.
I choose to describe the series in both English and Persian because they are the most representative of my character. While I am Iranian and was born in Iran, I grew up outside of Iran from the age of three and English became my second language. This was also the first series in which I fully incorporated the traditional patterns and designs into my work and I felt they were meant to be presented by their roots.
Is there a power of aesthetics over your creative process?
This series has been inspired by patterns and architecture that was meant to be aesthetically pleasing for the eyes and the feelings they evoke. Furthermore, the choice of the visual aesthetics has been about embracing and celebrating the Persian aspects of my cultural upbringing within the conflicting emotions of abandoning its certain traditions. The inner dialogue provokes me to experience a creative process, which for me is more significant than the finished artwork.
Why did you choose this medium for your idea?
While I wanted to incorporate traditional styles into my artworks, I did not want to use the traditional medium of ink and paper, but to give a more contemporary twist to it. The creative experiment began with a collage of patterns and illustrations that were photographed in a studio setting. I choose the camera as the medium of choice, to create a bridge between drawing and still life photography.
How did you find your subjects for the project?
My practice is the exploration of the relationship between humans, objects and spaces. Focusing on shapes and designs through which cultures and societies represent themselves, thus creating a basis that inevitably becomes part of the everyday living. I find inspiration in the stillness of entities and their powerful presence in our lives. We are most definitely dependent on them for our daily activities and I am curious about their place in life, with a certain fascination for cultural and traditional forms. Persian miniatures are unique for their story telling characteristics, but the aim for this series was to expand the genre of still life within the aesthetics of miniature paintings.
Describe your creative process in one word?
If you could teach one, one-hour class on anything what would it be?
GJ: A class on cultural fusion in art and craft.
What is the last book you read or film that you saw inspired you?
GJ: In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki
What is the most played song in your music library? At the moment Nina Simone’s Feeling Good
GJl How do you take your coffee? Not a coffee person, but tea drinker! Pearl jasmine and white tea after lunch or dinner