Artists: H - Z: Hadieh Shafie
A constant element of my work has been the significance of process, repetition and time all rooted in the influence of Islamic art & craft. What interest me is the tension between control and spontaneity that emerges at every step of creating much of the work.
In works comprised of paper scrolls, individual strips of paper have been marked with hand-written and printed Farsi (Persian language) text. Writing on the strips of paper is like making notes on the pages of a printed book to emphasize a certain passages that have a deeper resonance for the reader.
In this case, I repeat what is printed, fill in gaps or emphasize a particular form. For each work I decide on a limited color palette. As I roll the paper the color on the edges of the paper align, creating bands of alternating color. At this stage I am observing the color formations, which are always a delightful surprise. I may decide to repeat the color sequence but most of the time I encourage myself to let go so that spontaneous grouping of colors continue to emerge.
Each strip is then tightly rolled to create a core, around which successive strips are added. During the repetitive process of adding paper strips to create individual rolls, text and symbols are sometimes revealed and often hidden within the concentric rings of the finished object. There are compositions of printed and handwritten text sealed in the work that I often wish I could see again, but now it has been relinquished to the perpetual turning of the paper. I never know what the final configuration of each scroll within the framing box will be until the final assembly. Placing each scroll side by side decisions are made about color and composition at every step and the work progresses much like a painting or drawing.
The time it takes to make each work can vary and the time spent in writing and rolling the strips of paper is an important part of the performative aspect of making. The title of each piece documents the number of individual strips of paper that complete the work. Concentric forms of text and material take direct inspiration from the Sama dance of the whirling dervishes and the act of turning-on-axis in search of ascendance through forgetting the body.
Repeated in the drawings and the hybrids is the same Farsi word for love, or “eshghe”. In choosing to ignore the rules of calligraphy I create work that is grounded in the expressive beauty and individual power of the untrained hand. In addition, by removing certain language markers, such as the dots that signify specific vowel soundings, I eliminate a communicative element. The repetition of text and this particular word is a recurring element in much of the work of the last decade. Mawlana Muhammad Rumi’s poetry and the search for the dervish within are at the core of my own search and rebellion, with the resulting work as the physical expression of my search.
Shafie Hadieh graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD with a BFA in Painting. She earned her MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY as well as UMBC, MFA Imaging and Digital Art, MD. Hadieh Shafie's work has been included in a number of exhibitions in the US and abroad including, The Jameel Prize traveling exhibition presented at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris; Casa Arabe, Madrid; Cantor Arts Centre, Stanford University; and the San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas. She is the recipient of grants from MSAC Individual Artist Grant (2010 & 2008) and the Mary Sawyers Baker awards from the William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund (2009) & Franz and Virginia Bader Fund (2011) and shortlisted for the Jameel Prize (2011). Most recently Shafie was the recipient of the 2012 Space Program by The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation.
Shafie's work is in a number of public collections which include, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Victoria and Albert Museum; The British Museum; The Farjam Collection; The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Hadieh has been noted in such publications as, The Washington Post; The Art Economist, The Huffington Post; Canvas Magazine; Art Daily; Art Basel Miami Magazine; The Brooklyn Rail; Wired Magazine, and more.