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From Tehran to Melbourne, Farnaz Dadfar explores identity through art

From Tehran to Melbourne, Farnaz Dadfar explores identity through art

Featured photo credit: David Brazil / Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives (BigCi) NSW 2018

Inspired by the arabesque patterns, language and architecture that she was surrounded by while growing up, Iranian-born Australian artist Farnaz Dadfar has been using her art practice as a way to heal and explore identities.

Having moved to Australia in 2010 to study and refine her skills, Farnaz said the journey was far from easy, so she has used her art practice to help her transition to life in a new country, as well process other significant difficulties she had experienced throughout her life.

“I saw art as a healing process for myself, and maybe that’s why I had tried to use those very sharp colours and humanly styles in a lot of my work,” she explained.

“I feel like I use my art practice as a kind of communication or language medium to communicate with others.

I have had many experiences of not being understood, both in my native Farsi-language and in English, so maybe that’s why I chose the medium of art.

These struggles were prevalent for Farnaz in the initial years of leaving Tehran, having arrived in Australia with little knowledge of the language and culture, and without any friends or family to lean on for support.

However, after nine years of living and working in Australia’s cultural-capital of Melbourne, Farnaz expressed she thinks of Iran only as a nostalgic memory.

Australia has lots of resources and it’s beautiful and the issue of racism and discrimination here is not that high, which is a really good thing and I am very grateful for that.

“If you want to compare it to other countries, especially those in Europe, it’s not that high which is really good for people like me, coming from a Middle Eastern area,” she explained, when asked about what she appreciates most about her new home.

Combining the aspects of life that she has drawn from her various experiences, Farnaz has created works that have been showcased across various various national galleries.

Photo credit: Linden New Art / Linden Art Prize 2019 Exhibition

Farnaz was also recently a finalist in the Linden Art Prize 2019, so some of her work will be displayed at St Kilda’s Linden New Art until April 28, 2019.

She will also be conducting a bilingual artist talk as part of this exhibition on Friday March 29, 2019. More information available on the Linden New Art website HERE.

Check out more of Farnaz Dadfar’s art on her website HERE.


Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: editor@culturalpulse.com.au