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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Social and political turmoil of Iran expressed in work of three artists

The execution of Farnaz Sabet’s grandfather for his religious beliefs and the detachment she felt from her native Iran have served as sources of inspiration for her ceramics.

Artwork by Sabet and two other Iranian-American artists is featured in the Antelope Valley College Art Gallery exhibition of “In Search of Clarity: Three Perspectives on Iran” now through April 20.

In addition to ceramic vases by Sabet, the exhibit will include the work of Arezoo Bharthani and Shilla Shakoori.

The three artists explore the complicated relationships with their home culture. The works all play with obscuring or distorting a message, image or form so that it might be better heard and understood, according to curator Christine Mugnolo.

“My detachment from the country that I was born in led me to question both political and social issues that became apparent after assimilating into American culture,” Sabet writes in her artist’s statement. “I use these themes in my creative work.”

Her “Bullet Shape Vessels” commemorate the loss of individuals since the Iranian revolution.

Shakoori uses an installation to reference a café setting that is normally associated with open dialog and community issues. Instead, clandestine messages are engraved onto a chair and spoken through hushed audio to enhance the concept of oppression.

Bharthania’s multimedia work expresses grave concerns for the future of the nation’s capital, Tehran, and its chronic, rising air pollution. She combines images from her last visit to Tehran with pigmented resin or Plexiglas to create images that are both ghostly and sculptural.

All three artists are graduate students in art at California State University, Northridge.

All gallery shows are free and open to the public. The gallery is located in FA1, located on the west side of the campus, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information call (661) 722-6300, ext. 6215 or visit the art gallery's website.