Category Archives: MFA Thesis

What Is Fragile?

Victoria Verge and zev teifenbach are MFA candidates at UBCO. The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies would like to thank Kelowna Art Gallery for hosting the exhibition What is Fragile? from April 20th to July 12th 2024.

What is Fragile? is an exploration into the delicate interplay of memory, movement, and resilience through the lens of Kelowna-based artist Victoria Verge and Salmon Arm-based artist zev tiefenbach. Through their distinct yet complementary artistic inquiries, Verge and tiefenbach illuminate the fragility of our passage through the internal and external architecture of our lives.

tiefenbach’s sprawling archival installation, these are fragile days, invites viewers to immerse themselves in the intricacies of the artist’s personal archive, fostering new connections and narratives within the labyrinthine corridors of memory. This introspective journey includes a meticulous assembly of photographs, videos, and textual reflections, as tiefenbach constructs a poignant narrative of survival and witness while navigating the precarious landscape of post-genocidal trauma and environmental decline.

Verge’s sculptural meditations on movement and stillness in her series Chasing the Echoes of Home beckon viewers to contemplate the ephemeral nature of home and belonging. Rooted in her nomadic military upbringing and Newfoundland heritage, Verge’s static house sculptures pulsate with the latent energy of potential movement, echoing the eternal quest for stability amidst displacement. With each auditory activation, audiences are drawn into a visceral dialogue between stasis and motion, prompting introspection on the fluid boundaries of domesticity and community.

 

Victoria Verge

Victoria Verge is a multi-medium artist of settler and Mi’kmaw ancestry, currently residing on the unceded and traditional territory of the Syilx Okanagan people. In 2016, she obtained a BFA from Memorial University of Newfoundland, specializing in visual arts with a minor in art history. Currently in her second year as an MFA candidate at UBC Okanagan, Verge’s creative pursuits are deeply rooted in her personal history. The recurring theme of relocation, influenced by her father’s military service, guides her work as she actively navigates the multifaceted construct of ‘home’. Verge’s art has been showcased in national and international group and solo exhibitions and has garnered support and recognition from various arts institutions, awards, and scholarships.

zev tiefenbach

Born in Toronto as a second-generation Canadian, zev tiefenbach is a settler artist living on unceded secwépemc territory. He has a BFA from Concordia University (Photography/Creative Writing) and is an MFA Candidate at UBCO (Visual Arts).

tiefenbach’s grandparents are holocaust survivors and tiefenbach was raised within a post-traumatic ethos where imminent catastrophe was superimposed over the quotidian. His childhood was spent in a city where the dissonance between his middle-class surroundings and his own internalized sense of victimhood instilled a curiosity to explore the intersection between landscape, trauma and narrative.

 

More information can be found on Kelowna Art Galleries website: https://kelownaartgallery.com/what-is-fragile/

Intimate performances on small stages about big issues.

Director Annie Furman
Mentor Denise Kenney

Toolbox Theatre invites you to step into a series of intimate performances about big issues on small stages. This week, we’re taking out our tools to construct stories about our relationship to climate change.

Featuring short plays written by: Nicolas Billon, Annie Furman, Mark Rigney
With performances by: Miriam Cummings, Ronan Fraser, and Amy Wang
And set design by: Annie Furman and Shauna Oddleifson

Performances:
Thursday, March 28, 1:00-3:00 pm
Admin Building foyer, UBC Okanagan

Saturday, March 30, 1:00-3:00 pm
Rotary Centre for the Arts (outside), 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna

A Climate Change Theatre Action Project

BAI BAI – Bengi Agcal

BAI BAI

3D-Animated Video Installation

‘Bai Bai” is an introspective 3D-animated multimedia video exhibition by Bengi Agcal that embodies the complexities of immigration, identity, and the pursuit of creative freedom. At the heart of the exhibition is the narrative of a mystical water tiger, a symbolic representation of Agcal’s own journey, depicted through a series of evocative videos and animations. These works explore the emotional and psychological stages of immigration, drawing upon Agcal’s experiences of moving from Turkey to Hong Kong and finally to Canada. The exhibition unfolds through the migration narrative of a water tiger capturing the shock of displacement, the anger and rejection of facing systemic barriers, and the eventual recovery and nostalgia for a lost home.

 

Each stage of the narrative is a testament to the emotional stages of immigration, represented through the tiger’s transformative journey from a utopian aquatic realm to the stark reality of a new world. The journey commences in a realm of dreams, where the tiger thrives in amidst endless waters, symbolizing purity, potential, and the comfort of home. Inspired by the traditional Turkish “hamam,” this stage evokes a sense of communal intimacy and cultural richness, reminiscent of Turkey’s thriving days, echoing the warmth and solidarity experienced in neighborhood baths. The tiger’s home is a world where water is not just an element but a way of life, inviting a reflection on the essence of belonging and the shared human experience of finding solace in one’s roots.

As the narrative unfolds, the tiger is abruptly uprooted, finding itself in an alien landscape inspired by Kelowna, which is characterized by industrial coldness and the daunting expanse of parking lots. This stage confronts the harsh realities of migration—bureaucratic hurdles, societal indifference, and the existential struggle of starting anew in a place that deems you an outsider. The stark contrast from the first stage to this phase of rejection and anger poignantly captures the emotional turmoil and resilience required to navigate the complexities of a new beginning.

 

In the final stage of the Tiger’s odyssey, is the gradual adaptation to its new environment, marked by moments of gratitude, resilience, and occasional nostalgia. As the tiger builds a life of comfort and stability, echoes of longing for the past linger—a testament to the enduring ties to home and the bittersweet nature of transformation. Through introspective reflections and vivid imaginings, the tiger navigates the delicate balance between embracing the present and yearning for the familiar, encapsulating the essence of the migrant experience in the digital age.

 

Bengi Agcal is a multimedia artist and researcher. She earned her BEng in Computer Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is currently pursuing her MFA alongside the NSERC CREATE Immersive Technologies program at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests and art practice include speculative fiction, participatory design, 3D rendering, digital sculpting, XR technologies, web computing, immersive technologies, and sustainability.

The Journey II – MFA Group Show

We warmly extend an invitation for you to join us at “The Journey II”, the upcoming art exhibition held at the FINA Gallery on the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia. This event will display the innovative works of our first-year Master of Fine Arts students.

Exhibition Details:

– Venue: FINA Gallery, University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus

– Closing reception: Thursday, 29th February at 2-4 PM

– Exhibition Duration: 23th February to 29th February

About the Exhibition “The Journey II”:

“The Journey II” continues the exploration initiated by “The Journey,” delving into the stories and experiences that shape human existence. Every artwork embodies the unique journey of its creator, weaving together a unified narrative aimed at captivating the audience with individual tales that illuminate the commonalities of the human experience.

Participating Artists:

Negar Baghlani

Robin Hodgson

Roland Samuel

Tara Yadollahi

The Journey

13th October to 19th October 2023

 

About the Exhibition “The Journey”:


“The Journey” delves into individual narratives of human experience and existence expressed by each artist currently enrolled in the studio course for the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Program. Each artwork stands as a testament to its creator’s individual journey, forging a comprehensive narrative that promises to engage others through individual narratives that relate to our broad experiences. Using distinct mediums and processes artists express particular experiences making their work with concerns ranging from colour, form and layering of medium to autoethnographyand destabilizing situations globally that affect women’s fundamental rights and concepts relating to disability rights and our own realities as ‘temporarily able bodied’. Working from narratives of personal experience or aesthetic these artists bring their own journey into conversation with each other and us, as audience, asking us to relate to our own journey and our own humanity.

Participating Artists:
Negar Baghlani
Robin Hodgson
Roland Samuel
Tara Yadollahi

 

Artist Statements (excerpts):

Negar Baghlani

Untitled-2023

Oil paint on Plastic Sheet

Negar Baghlani

Untitled-2023

Oil on paper :Art Book

 

I have been recently exploring the simple shape of an oval as an individual form. The bulge and cavities, and the graceful qualities of asymmetry and dissymmetry which can mold many different forms, has become a very sensitive concern to study for me. Ovals are a combination of different shades of red, black and magenta that together give a feeling of a soft, warm and wet dense mass. It might be felt as either some untouched parts of your body or a forgotten part of your mind. The Oval project was initiated three years ago with sketches and continued with oil paint on vellum paper in different sizes. I worked on some small vellum sheets and oil paint to study the form and curves to find the one that matched with the picture in my mind the best, and I was satisfied by almost all of them in terms of either forms or colour. The way pure and undiluted red and black paints overlap, and in some other parts they are blended.

 

I am now visiting this project from three years ago again with oil paint on handmade papers bound together in a book. The fact that each single page satisfies me while is not assumed complete, made me ponder how exclusive the collection, as a book, can be. As if words, sentences and pages work together to define a whole concept, each page with slightly different details can add more information and feeling to the previous page and ultimately forge a detached picture in the onlooker’s mind and give them a feeling of looking at a single sheet on the wall.

 

Robin Hodgson

             

Writing on a Trickle -2023

Acrylic, Latex, Spray Paint, Accidental Oil Spill on Birch panel

Robin Hodgson

Race Night -2022

Acylic, Latex on Birch panel

The paintings I create are intuitive, with spontaneous application and vigorous brush

strokes, often layered over areas of fine detail and text. These layers reveal and evoke

ideas reconsidered or purposefully left obscured, yet not entirely erased, suggesting a

past left behind but not forgotten. During these times of rapid social change

My paintings share the complex stories of those living with disabilities through my

large-scale, colourful compositions. The figures in my work are emotionally intimate,

painted in a fast and loose manner that draws the viewer in. My paintings are influenced

by the drama and symbolism of Renaissance painting reflected in both scale and

composition and symbolic imagery. I use autoethnographic images, like race cars and

helmets, that occupy the background and negative space of many of my pieces

referencing risk-taking behavior, and the motor vehicle accident that led to my spinal

cord injury. As a C5-C6 tetraplegic, I make work that investigates the physical and

psychological nature of post-able-body life.

 

Working from a wheelchair, my process employs the use of both traditional techniques

of painting by hand, mixed with experimental methods using tools I have built to

overcome aspects of my disability..Through my conceptual paintings I seek to develop a deeper connection between theviewer and the one-in-five Canadians living with disabilities. By exhibiting disabilityrelated images in a gallery setting I hope to stimulate conversation; and remind us allthat we are only temporarily able-body.

Roland Samuel

Ọ̀jà player in contemporary times –2023

Scrap Metal

As an African visual artist, I consider creativity to be indispensable as a means to express myself and communicate my narrative. Sculpting is an ongoing process through which I aim to immortalize my story and the narrative of the people. I craft my sculptures using a variety of readily available materials, such as fibre, wood, plastic, and metal. Notably, my recent works have involved repurposing waste resources, including discarded metal, unused wood, and disposed plastic. This recycling of waste materials not only enhances the environment but also transforms devalued materials into aesthetically valuable sculptures..My sculptures serve as reflections on our past, commentaries on our present, and preparations for our future. I depict the transformation of our way of life, juxtaposing past societal practices with contemporary social issues. Throughout the creative process, I perceive myself as a conduit, an instrument employed by ancestral influences.

 

In my recent sculptures, I’ve incorporated waste metals from electronic components, reflecting the current age of technological advancement and material innovation. However, my sculptures often depict historical attire, traditions, and cultures that contrast with the advanced technology of the materials themselves. This contrast between material and subject matter is evident in my piece, Ọ̀jà player in contemporary times (2023). The Ọ̀jà is a small high pitched wooden flute, approximately seven inches (18cm) long, indigenous to the Ìgbò people (

Nwachukwu, 1997). This flute has historically been used for communication during significant occasions, spiritual rituals, or to convey messages to the king. It’s a culture-bound medium for conveying messages, much like contemporary cryptography, as it can only be deciphered by those who understand it when used solely for chanting. The sculpture featuring the Ọ̀jà player is a representation that combines the enduring tradition of the Ọ̀jà flute with contemporary materials and techniques. It fuses traditional African motifs with technology, including the use of CNC laser machines for cutting found metal plates. This fusion serves to highlight the stark contrasts between what our society values and what it wastes in the modern era.

 

Tara Yadollahi

Women Fading Echoes-2023

Paper-Threads-Pins on paper

Tara Yadollahi

Zane-Rooz-2023

Digital Projection

“..many women have been censored in Iranian society over time… either by choice or by force. I remember my father always talking about the old female singers, actors and celebrities before the Iranian revolution 1979, and how much more advanced they were than their time, they somehow had more freedom in speech and even in dressing; back then, they might have been judged by people in the society because of their clothing or thinking, but there was no law to prohibit them from their clothing or behavior. But after the Iranian revolution, the law of mandatory hijab for women was officially approved, and then many of female celebrities have been faded day by day and suddenly there were no picture or name of them. Some of their images and even artworks were banned in the country because they were against the Islamic laws in Iran.

 

This sparked the inception of the “Zan-e Rooz” initiative. Zan-e Rooz (means “Woman of Today”) is a women’s weekly Persian-language magazine published in Tehran, Iran. The magazine was first published in 1964. The first issue hit the newsstands in Tehran on 27 February 1965, and the magazine gained an immediate success. Before Islamic revolution Kayhanpublishing company was the editorial and publisher. After the Iranian Revolution, as women’s political activity alongside men increased, publications focusing on women’s issues sprang up to answer the increased demand. Due to this, Zan-e Rooz shifted from being a Western-style gossip sheet to a publication dedicated to exploring the rights of women within the Islamic framework. This magazine has a nostalgic atmosphere for all Iranians. I remember well that my grandmother used to buy this magazine every day, and in fact, this magazine played a prominent role in my childhood. Years later, when I became a young woman, when I looked at the past and the progress of this magazine, I saw that women and women’s issues had become less important day by day, so that even in society, women were not seen and were censored. In this project, it shows the process of censoring a woman on this magazine, as well as her censoring in society. In fact, the woman gradually gives its place to the “Peyvandha” page, which is the symbol of the filter and censorship of the website in Iran. Furthermore, This page appears on the browser, in Iran, when a site is filtered by the State and Islamic law and cannot be accessed without a VPN. This filters page is a collection of state sanctioned or approved sites and topics. This page is a reminder and a symbol for me of all the filters and censors in Iran.

 

A few months after the creation of the “Zan-e Rooz”, it came to my mind that it is true that many women are censored in society, but I can look at this issue in another way: why should us, women, censor ourselves? And alos, in other words, if we think deeper, even society has been censored by then too!

This was the spark for me to start creating “Women’s fading echoes ” artwork. In this new collection of digital artworks, I somehow completed critically “Zane rooz” (2020). This series of works is a collection of portrait photos of these women before the Iranian revolution, like Forough Farrokhzad, Googoosh, etc. In this work, I still tried to keep some elements like the “Peyvandha” page, but this time, I censored the space around each artist. In this work, I tried to print them with the same low quality as some of the photos, and then somehow drawing on some of the images and even writing their poems and dialogues in different movies, and then by sewing them together with thread or connecting them together, by pins and tape, I conveyed to the viewer more of the concepts that were in my mind. Concepts such as disappearing and being present at the same time, concepts such as being separate but at the same time being connected.

I Died As A Mineral – Heraa Khan

UBCO MFA Exhibition held at the Lake Country Art Gallery.

Through my artistic practice, I delve into the natural world and our connection to it. The unbridled desire of humans to succeed and advance has disrupted the essential tenet of coexistence between the realms of humanity and the natural world, causing an imbalance that has led to ecological catastrophes and environmental calamities.

 

Using Indo-Persian miniature painting methods that originated in the 16th century as a starting point, my artistic practice involves re-envisioning these techniques with modern imagery and cross-cultural concerns to subvert conventional expectations. My work repurposes accounts of calamities and past events into significant and relatable visuals, blending the cultures of both the East and the West. I explore ideas expressed by Jalaluddin Rumi and Jeanette Armstrong in their poetry that advocate the importance of balance and equality of all living forms as a way to move forward towards a more harmonious and sustainable future.

 

By combining Eastern traditional painting techniques of using handmade materials such as wasli (paper), qalam (brush), and paints made from North American indigenous knowledge of natural pigments (Beam paints), with contemporary environmental concerns, the artwork conveys a multifaceted and intricate significance. The change in size from the expansive multi-screen digital animation to the smaller-scale paintings deepens our comprehension of the precarious interdependence between humans and the environment we inhabit.

Heraa Khan

Curator Essay

 

It has been approximately a year since I first met Nasim Pirhadi and Heraa Kahn, two talented artists immersed in the early stages of their MFA Program. Over time, I witnessed their artistic processes unfold, filled with inquiries, contemplations, and extensive research, gradually shaping their works into remarkable presentations.

For this year’s UBCO MFA Exhibition, the Lake Country Art Gallery has been divided into two distinct exhibition spaces. The first space showcases Heraa Kahn’s collection of miniature paintings, delicately arranged on the gallery walls, gently illuminated to highlight each individual piece. Through these paintings, Kahn invites viewers into a contemplative journey exploring themes of the natural world, human interactions, and the ensuing climate crisis. The exhibition, titled ‘I Died as a Mineral,’ draws inspiration from Rumi’s poem of the same name, perhaps symbolizing the cycle of life and incorporating materials that mirror this connection. Kahn’s intricate paintings serve as cautionary tales, offering viewers profound insights, meanings, and interpretations of Rumi’s poem.

While standing amidst Kahn’s exhibition, one’s attention is drawn to a small archway that leads to another space at the rear of the gallery. Passing through, visitors enter Nasim Pirhadi’s installation titled ‘Zoorkhaneh,’ which translates to ‘House of Strength’—a traditional gymnasium for men. Pirhadi has ingeniously transformed the room into an immersive installation, combining video, photography, sounds, scents, and exercise-related objects. The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of sugar and rose water. Traditionally reserved for men, the wooden equipment within the space is now open to all, as Pirhadi invites diverse participation in this exhibition. Notably, Pirhadi has recreated the apparatuses using sugar, imbuing the piece with a sense of heightened weight and transparency—an innovative reinterpretation of traditional beliefs and values concerning women’s rights, human rights, and societal roles.

For five days, I observed Heraa Kahn and Nasim Pirhadi meticulously navigate the gallery space, constructing walls, selecting paint colours, contemplating support structures, lighting arrangements, soundscapes, and strategic placement of their works. Every decision was made with utmost care, thoughtfulness, and thorough consideration, leaving no aspect to chance. Their unwavering commitment and hard work was admirable.

In these tumultuous times we find ourselves in, these exhibitions hold tremendous significance, encouraging us to stay informed about global affairs. The gallery has produced two exhibition catalogues, one for each artist, to showcase their thesis works. The presence of Heraa Kahn and Nasim Pirhadi’s art within the Lake Country Art Gallery is a true privilege for us—the gallery, the Lake Country community, and all those who have the opportunity to engage with their remarkable work.

Wanda Lock

Curator, Lake Country Art Gallery

 

ZOORKHANEH زورخانه – Nasim Pirhadi

UBCO MFA Exhibition held at the Lake Country Art Gallery.

Zoorkhaneh

The work I’m doing is actively confronting and exploring the social instability and how it relates to the ways Iranian women fight for their rights. One response of this confrontation is through my recreation of a zoorkhaneh within the gallery space. A zoorkhaneh is a traditional gym that only men are allowed to enter and participate in, and whose name translates to House of Strength. There is an old belief that women are not purified enough to enter these sacred places, and that the inherent corruption of womanhood makes them undeserving of titles like ‘hero’ or ‘champion’. By recreating a zoorkhaneh in a gallery space, I control and arrange, populated with the reimagined tools that define a new sort of zoorkhaneh.

In creating a zoorkhaneh in the gallery space, I challenged the exclusionary practices in zoorkhanehs by creating alternative space where people regardless of their gender can gather and engage in activities that are traditionally associated with these places. This project involves installation, video and photo performances that invite people who enter this environment to explore the cultural significance of these space, work out with the wooden tools and challenge patriarchal norms and values. By the space of zoorkhaneh, I want to challenge dominant narratives and create a more diverse and inclusive cultural landscape.

The entrance to the Zurkhaneh building is very low that passers-by have to bend over. This is a sign of humility and respect. This act serves as a powerful symbol of the values and beliefs embodied by the zoorkhaneh. In this show I created a short entrance that requires the audience to bend over and enter the zoorkhaneh space. The short entrance serves as a symbol of the egalitarian attitude applied to a specific category of citizens (men). By requiring all individuals, regardless of their status or position in society, to bow down in order to enter the space, the zoorkhaneh reinforces the idea that everyone is equal and should be treated with respect and dignity. In this show the entrance to the space serves as a threshold between the external world and the internal space. It is a point of transition, where individuals leave behind the chaos and distractions of the outside world and enter a space of intentionality and focus.

I utilized sugar to recreate the tools which are originally wooden. I sought to challenge the traditional masculinity in zoorkhaneh often associated with wooden tools by using sugar as a medium. This choice redefines what it means to be strong and powerful by subverting the idea that power can only be represented in a certain way (here certain material). I aimed to question and reflected on societal constructs of gender roles and expectations in a patriarchal system. As the sugar sculptures are much heavier than their wooden counterpart, they represent what it means to be powerful without succumbing to constricting societal standards.

Nasim Pirhadi

Meel: One of the tools used in zoorkhaneh is the Meel which at some point is the symbol of zoorkhaneh. The Meel is big chunk of hard wooden conical-shaped tool. It features a handle at one end.

Meel Greiftan (club exercise)

Working with the Meels is perhaps the most difficult part of the whole session. In fact, these devices are comparatively heavy and difficult to control, especially in motion during the Meel exercises. In addition, this exercise bout is slightly longer than the rest of the session. The procedure for starting this exercise is exactly identical to one of the push-up exercises; You can pick up the Meels and regain their places in the same order. In this exercise, you turn the Meels around your shoulders alternately and in a balance, continuous and circular fashion.

 

Sang

Is a rectangular piece of hard wood that has some similarities with the ancient shields used to ward off blows or missiles. The side of the rectangular that is moved near the floor throughout the exercise is gently arched. There is a hole at the central part of each Sang with a bar across it that is used as a hand grip. Around this opening is covered by a soft material to protect the hand. Sangs are used for weight training and one pair of them is necessary for the exercise.

Sang Greiftan (weight exercise): To do this exercise you can lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight (or crossed)

Push-up Board

“Takhteh-Shena: Is a plank of about 75 x 8 x 2 cm. It stands on two short lateral pedestals, each about 5cm. high and shoulder-width apart. The Takhteh-Shena is used for the different types of push up exercises particular to Varzesh-e-Bastani.

 

Curator Essay

 

It has been approximately a year since I first met Nasim Pirhadi and Heraa Kahn, two talented artists immersed in the early stages of their MFA Program. Over time, I witnessed their artistic processes unfold, filled with inquiries, contemplations, and extensive research, gradually shaping their works into remarkable presentations.

For this year’s UBCO MFA Exhibition, the Lake Country Art Gallery has been divided into two distinct exhibition spaces. The first space showcases Heraa Kahn’s collection of miniature paintings, delicately arranged on the gallery walls, gently illuminated to highlight each individual piece. Through these paintings, Kahn invites viewers into a contemplative journey exploring themes of the natural world, human interactions, and the ensuing climate crisis. The exhibition, titled ‘I Died as a Mineral,’ draws inspiration from Rumi’s poem of the same name, perhaps symbolizing the cycle of life and incorporating materials that mirror this connection. Kahn’s intricate paintings serve as cautionary tales, offering viewers profound insights, meanings, and interpretations of Rumi’s poem.

While standing amidst Kahn’s exhibition, one’s attention is drawn to a small archway that leads to another space at the rear of the gallery. Passing through, visitors enter Nasim Pirhadi’s installation titled ‘Zoorkhaneh,’ which translates to ‘House of Strength’—a traditional gymnasium for men. Pirhadi has ingeniously transformed the room into an immersive installation, combining video, photography, sounds, scents, and exercise-related objects. The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of sugar and rose water. Traditionally reserved for men, the wooden equipment within the space is now open to all, as Pirhadi invites diverse participation in this exhibition. Notably, Pirhadi has recreated the apparatuses using sugar, imbuing the piece with a sense of heightened weight and transparency—an innovative reinterpretation of traditional beliefs and values concerning women’s rights, human rights, and societal roles.

For five days, I observed Heraa Kahn and Nasim Pirhadi meticulously navigate the gallery space, constructing walls, selecting paint colours, contemplating support structures, lighting arrangements, soundscapes, and strategic placement of their works. Every decision was made with utmost care, thoughtfulness, and thorough consideration, leaving no aspect to chance. Their unwavering commitment and hard work was admirable.

In these tumultuous times we find ourselves in, these exhibitions hold tremendous significance, encouraging us to stay informed about global affairs. The gallery has produced two exhibition catalogues, one for each artist, to showcase their thesis works. The presence of Heraa Kahn and Nasim Pirhadi’s art within the Lake Country Art Gallery is a true privilege for us—the gallery, the Lake Country community, and all those who have the opportunity to engage with their remarkable work.

 

 

Wanda Lock

Curator, Lake Country Art Gallery

 

Assemblage II: MFA Group Show

Assemblage II is the second iteration held by the Visa 582/582 MFA graduate student class with instructor Tania Willard. Assemblage II takes on development from the studio of diverging artistic practices but aligns resultant artworks in the gallery in ways that position new dialogues between practices, concepts and materials.

From sculptural works that are conceptually driven by the state of women in Iran to; graffiti sentiments, the beauty of photographic archives of daily life, augmented reality, mixed media works informed by Persian miniature painting and figurative painting that focuses on our complex mental states, the exhibition positions differently informed works into conversation with one another and an assemblage of our human experience emerges. Assemblage highlights the engaging and dynamic work of graduate students in the MFA program showing a range of practices and emerging dialogues.

We Are Countless – Rehan Yazdani and UBC MFA student Nasir Pirhadi

Nasim Pirhadi is a multi-medium artist and current MFA candidate at UBC Okanagan.

As part of this two person exhibit, Nasim explores the current political discourse of what it means to be an Iranian woman both in a diasporic sense and as through lived experience. This important work includes a video addressing misogynist fears of traditional spaces and a painted textile representing protestors on the streets in Iran who are fighting for the lives of women and girls.

It is on view at the Kelowna Art Gallery from January 21 to April 16, 2023

 

 

 

Assemblage: MFA Group Show

Assemblage was an exhibition held by the Visa 582/582 MFA graduate student class with instructor Tania Willard.

 

Assemblage takes its starting point from the studio practices of diverging artistic practices but aligns resultant artworks in the gallery in ways that position new dialogues between practices, concepts and materials. From sculptural works that are conceptually driven by the state of women in Iran to; graffiti sentiments, the beauty of photographic archives of daily life, augmented reality that examines ‘bullish markets’, painstaking works informed by Persian miniature painting, the impacts of veteran lives and their families and figurative painting that focuses on our complex mental states, the exhibition positions differently informed works into conversation with one another and an assemblage of our human experience emerges. Assemblage highlights the engaging and dynamic work of graduate students in the MFA program showing a range of practices and emerging dialogues in artistic practice.

 

MFA candidates featured in this exhibition: Bengi Agcal, Herra Khan, Jessie Emilie, Nasim Pirhadi, Troy Teichrib, Victoria Verge and Zev Tiefenbach.