Soheila K. Esfahani grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Canada in 1992. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. She is a recipient of grants from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. As part of the SSHRCC grant, Esfahani participated in a research/creation group entitled Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds: Engaging Water as Culture and Resource through Contemporary Art. Esfahani’s work is represented in public and private collections including the Canada Council’s Art Bank. Recently, she was nominated for the Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Waterloo and works from her studio at Kitchener’s artist–run centre, Globe Studios.
My current artistic practice explores the domain of cultural translation and investigates the processes involved in cultural transfers and transformation. In my installations I often use pallets to evoke the concept of translation in the etymological sense of a process of ‘transferring’ or ‘conveying’. These temporary installations arise from my ongoing process of marking transport pallets with various collected motifs and an e-mail address and putting them back into circulation as a functional object. During my residency at FMC, I added two pallets that I had found on site at FMC to my series of Cultured Pallets. The pallets are decorated with multiple prints of two specific decorative motifs. One is based on a Persian ventilation design, the other is inspired by designs of baroque medallions in historic buildings in Antwerp such as the Rubens House and the Plantin-Moretus printing museum that I visited during my residency. Both pallets have been put back into circulation in Belgium.
19.10.2015 - 13.11.2015