Shahla Bahrami




(Canada – Iran)





My heritage of oriental beliefs and my acquired occidental experience create a duality resulting in a body of work where these two cultures mingle: work with an oriental theme and an occidental manner of artistic expression. This duality is echoed by the techniques used; photographic transfer and painting produce an equivocal and improbable image possessing both the realism of photography and the illusion of painting.

This work results from my observations and my reflections on the chador. A piece of cloth in a semicircular form, the chador is worn by Muslim women to hide their hair and their bodies. Today, this garment is both a response to religious obligations and a symbol of opposition to the imposition of occidental culture. It is both a sign of the depersonalization of femininity and a sign of belonging to a religion where individualism is relinquished in favor of a collective identity.




Parsa (Femmes en tchador) 465 x 330 x 50cm, 2000-2002



Prisonniers politiques, 213 x 550 cm, 1999



My art is nourished by my observation and reflections on the political violence in society. My descriptive works reflect my beliefs and my doubts relative to the political world, without my necessarily wanting to critique a particular situation — a situation in which truth and reality are quite masked. In reality, my work proposes a mental and imaginary reproduction of my vision and my impression, that is to say, a nightmarish vision of a world of violence among the millions of political nightmares haunting the true life of the human being. My pieces are brutal and shocking, while at the same time being aesthetic and accessible. My message is simple and never varies. My technique, photo transfer and painting, is at the same time elaborate and full of simplicity, and highlights my Persian culture and my philosophy of art.





Femmes en tchador, 1250 x 22 x 384 cm, 2000



Prisonniers politiques (2), 213 x 91 cm, 1999



AAVA (Autoportraits) 340cm x 220cm, 2007




Fêtes des mères











Founding member and director of the Centre d’artistes Voix Visual, Shahla Bahrami lives and works in Ottawa. She graduated in Fine Arts from the Université du Québec en Outaouais. She studied Persian miniature at the School of Fine Arts in Shiraze and sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in Tehran. She has participated in over 80 exhibitions in public galleries and artist-run centers in Canada, Europe and Asia.

In 2002, she received the First Prize from Art and Paper VI Biennial organized by Jean-Claude-Bergeron Gallery. She has received grants from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Québec, the Conseil des arts et des letters du Quebec, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Bank of Canada and the City of Ottawa. Her works are part of private and public collections such as the City of Ottawa, Loto-Québec and the National Bank of Canada.





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