A series of pen and ink drawings by Hesam Fetrati will open in the Biblio Gallery on the 4th floor of Bird Library on September 9. Born in Tehran, Iran in 1981, Fetrati is currently a doctor of visual art candidate at Griffith University in Australia.
“The collective series of artwork “Suspicious Suspension” is my interpretation of the distress caused through the common, harmful, and global activity of displacement. This exhibit contains three series: Severed Roots, Blindness, and Suspension. This body of work addresses contemporary issues of diaspora, hope, despair, and the hopelessness associated with the act of displacement. The severed trees, decomposing fish, and abandoned suitcases are my repeated stereotypes. They highlight the harmful acts of separation, distress, dilution, and loss of people who have been cut off and forced from their cultural heritage, their motherland, and their geographic place. I use satire in these drawings to comment on issues of forced migration. The three series start with a narrative form into which I weave my understanding of the mental states of mind and physical hardships endured on the journey from one state of mind/place to another. My drawings seek to give voice to the ‘speechless’ members of society – the refugee, the displaced, and those who, like myself, are transitioning from one culture/place into another. I see myself as part of this situation and at the same time I try to position myself outside of it in order to look at it more objectively. In an effort to avoid repetitive imagery, which would just show the Dickensian life of displaced people and victimise them, I have pursued a balance of subliminal narratives and hidden text. I have tried to avoid making a series of work to reflect the anger and compassion of the victim and the viewer. Instead, I reflect more on the context surrounding the situation and allow the viewer to pass their own judgment on the activity. I have chosen to use black ink on paper and limited edition print for this series in reference to an ancient mode of communication and broadcasting.”
The exhibit will be up until mid-spring 2017.