Zohreh Vahidifard

Iran

Zohreh Vahidifard

Featured Sculpture

Iranian sculptor Zohreh Vahidifard thinks and creates on a grand scale. Last year her steel work titled 30 Birds (2), based on Simurgh’s story, an ancient Persian fable, spanned the lawn in front of the RCMP station. This year she returns to Sculpturewalk with another epic - in size and scope - sculpture.

Simurg(5) has the same story basis as 30 Birds (2). The myth recounts a flock of birds having to cross seven valleys to reach Mount Qhaf, ostensibly to meet their King Simurgh. The difficulty increases as each level of attainment of desirable qualities is achieved. Many tarry or are trapped by hunters. When the remaining 30 birds reached the mountain they find no king, realizing they themselves were Simurgh – having found their self and uniting as one.

Vahidifard’s sculpture depicts the seven valleys as concentric rings, or “walls” as Vahidifard identifies them. Each is embroidered with cut-outs of birds, plants and other images. The bird cut-outs are on entries, symbolizing movement towards the final goal. Vahidifard envisions viewers walking through these portals.

The lotus plants represent growth and development; each level has a coloured section of iron that runs the spectrum of the rainbow and goes from darker to lighter shades. This represents the goal of “purity and light” at the end of the journey, just as the “walls” rise gradually with each level as the journey progresses with ever-increasing difficulty to ultimately achieve the desired state.

A mirror (steel) in the last stage represents finding oneself, achieving the completeness sought by mankind comprised of “love, mysticism, wisdom, perfection, greatness, goodness and the power of magic therapy.”

The myth is allegorical and Vahidifard’s massive sculpture - over 13 metres long and nearly six metres wide – portrays the story and its implications extremely well. As she explains, “Simurgh is nothing except the goodness in every human being.”

Zohreh holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, specializing in painting and sculpting. The Tehran-based artist has always had an interest in art, drawing at a young age and attending art classes while still in grade school. This led to her studies in university; since graduating she has held seven solo exhibitions of her sculptures and paintings and participated in over seventy group exhibitions in Iran, the Far East and Europe.

Vahidifard’s vision and talent are apparent. Her work tends to be based on Persian mythology, as here and at last year’s display. She presents modern, contemporary takes on ancient tales/fables with style, flair and respectful interpretation. Simurg (5) showcases all of these traits, as well as being big, bold and inspirational.

Artist's Sculptures