Prose & Poetry by Fabien BEUCHET, Pictures courtesy of Elham ETEMADI
Portrait of the Artist Elham Etemadi
I don’t want to be related to a school,
even if I am close to the surrealist movement as my work leaves a large part to
my imagination and dreams. These are really important things to me.
My works are characterized by an oneiric chromaticity.
There are a lot of forms which are linked together by motifs destined to
give to the whole a certain unity.
This technique gives birth to mysterious artworks.
The way I begin to paint is nearly totally random, this is the reason why my paintings
are close to the surrealist view.
I compose with wide lyrical taches destined to be interpreted figuratively.
I go into a space which seems to be limitless.
– Elham ETEMADI –
Born in 1983 in Shiraz, Iran, Elham Etemadi was already an accomplished artist before coming to France in 2010.
Having earned a Titular Mention from the Association of Drawers of Iran
– an eminently artistic country and civilization for many thousand years –
she then became valedictorian in 2007 before her Master Degree (+6) in Painting at the University of Art of Tehran.
Ambitious, Elham Etemadi arrived in France only a year after having earned her first Master Degree in Iran, to earn, in 2012, her second Master Degree, in Visual Arts at the University of Strasbourg, France.
But, Talented, she has not just earned two Master Degrees in two different countries, two different civilizations, as she is Doctor in Arts since 2018, having had a huge success at the University of Strasbourg, France, with her thesis L’Irruption du jeu dans l’art visuel contemporain (The Irruption of the Play in Contemporary Visual Art).
The play, the game, only one word in French: le jeu, a word characterizing Elham Etemadi’s Art since the first time I met it.
Grand Crab, acrylic on canvas, 69.7 x 81.9 x 2 in, / 177 x 208 x 5 cm, 2019
Animals, toys, architectural elements stand alongside humans on the stage of the canvas.
They run it, will reappear as if the space provided them an infinite freedom.
I had the honor to meet both the Artist and her creations made of freedom just a few days after she arrived in France, in 2009. She came with drawings and paintings from which emanated a very accomplished serene strength, a solemn fuel, a personal way to unite colors via their differences, a unique way to reveal both the full & the void via her never-ending paths in perpetual evolution.
Painting, drawing, with thin lines, flat tints, and even writings turning into discreet meaningful elements; all melting, creating, fusing with animals and silhouettes which are all familiar and mysterious at the same time…
The declaration of the immutable perpetual motion, this is the basis of the alchemy Elham Etemadi offers us.
See with Heart, acrylic on canvas, 21.7 x 18.1 x 1 in / 55.2 x 46 x 2.5 cm, 2019
A magical world of a thousand colours,
making me wonder about my influences
and my choices.
Fisherman, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 74.8 x 63 x 1.7 in / 190 x 160 x 4.3 cm, 2019
Yes, an alchemy, easily identifiable as "an Etemadi",
a never-ending way to sensitivity, to thoughts, to dream, to pragmatism, to the fusion conscious-unconscious.
The reason why this Artist has so much success from The Emirates, Iran to Western Europe also lies in the fact she delivers us all a clear question:
the evaporation of the break "question-answer" through its sublimation:
the assertive open ways.
Yes, Elham Etemadi’s tour de force is to give us all an existential experience through the pure fact to enjoy painting, to give the world paintings and drawings at the same time, assertions and assertive open questions.
Yes, this Artist enjoys. By painting, drawing her-self and the world, she invites us to find our path within hers, to weave infinite connections, to ask ourselves how would we paint, how do we perceive, see, live, Create daily exceptional events.
Conversation, drawing, gouache, pastel and watercolor on cardboard, 10.2 x 14.2 x 0.4 in / 25.9 x 36 x 1 cm, 2018
Silent conversations, acrylic on canvas, 27.6 x 19.7 x 1 in / 70 x 50 x 2.5 cm, 2018
I always need to transform mental fantasies into visual imaginations [and]
I’ve always tried to keep the Eastern and Iranian notions alive.
My paintings evoke dreams, a magical world of a thousand colours,
making me wonder about my influences and my choices.
Exemplifying how daily facts can be exceptional, Elham Etemadi (re)connects us with the Present. As the Present is a legacy for the Future.
Bold and subtle, Elham Etemadi’s Art is also a celebration of colors.
So many colors, following and/or leading (to) so many paths, leading to a lead figure, a lead vocal in dialogue with a window, a cat, a child,
a couple, themselves connected with another revealed rhizome, and so on …
How are her artworks so clear while containing so many elements?
Because she is an Artist, with a capital A ; A standing for Arborescence.
Why does her Art have such a success in several civilizations?
Because of her high ability of appropriation too. Her artworks show how somebody born somewhere can be an example of cultures’ fusion,
a human celebration revealing inner elements of the fusion, the fusion itself and the future of the fusion.
A celebration of what is Art inviting other forms of Art to take part in the fusion too …
So impregnating are the artefacts of the affect
That within the present they inject
Sometimes the diktat of the time’s fracture,
Sometimes the predicate of the beautiful facture
Of the eternal Instant.
Who turns the ditches into knolls
Engraves the dimples of the wise, of the child,
As on the obverse as the reverse of these skies
Which at all ages at all Times
Enthuse so much…
So that we let go…
Present of passages
Landscape of presences,
Each of our stories
Suffers from this asthma, attic of the be-ing,
Which makes up the existence as a sustenance…
And this is when, all of a sudden, lantern
Postern lighthouse the artist offers us
A mirror, threshold from the pond to the being.
Collection of mirrors, of thresholds
Of peaks, Elham Etemadi expounds,
Proposes the present …
As daily as exceptional,
As universal that it is.
Expanding miniatures and
Of an ever evolving meridian,
Elham Etemadi signifies the present
As it signs us, engraves us :
From the mists of time … to the Instant’s skies.
Elham Etemadi the truth
Of existence, of life, exemplifies
According to the principle of reciprocity
Leading us to pass daily from noise
To sonority ;
From scream to vocalise,
From the fruit still hanging
To its dispersion full of fertility.
Playing … is living the key-instant,
Is at each instant inviting …
Us to let go
Us to weave detached links
More than ever having a firm grip on reality,
For it is the aesthetics that is shared by all humanity.
Letting go is in essence
Giving all the room to the presence …
So the fact that you find
To place yourselves, to sign yourselves
Within so many perspectives
Colours and lines
Shall signify that you too
Setār and cello
Will have known to make agree.
Future of Legacies & Legacy of the Future,
Springing from a being in our time,
The keys of a spontaneous ground whose colours
Perspectives and lines are reinventing themselves ;
Spacings inviting us to also
As the march of our present goes by.
Fertile loams residing as within the yesteryear as within the here,
So it is when
The starlings are brushing the sky
That we Feel, betyls, the Present.
67 verse poem accompanying in situ the Artists’ artworks during the exhibition