Hamideh’s life has taken her to many countries and through many unique experiences. Born in Tehran, she came to Canada to gain a master’s degree in engineering. Growing up in the 80s, there was pressure to gain a practical degree in a technical field, but art was always a part of her life and ultimately, she went to Emily Carr to obtain a fine arts degree.
Currently, her exhibition Where is Home? is on display at Place des Arts until May 27, 2021.
Find out more about Hamideh’s artistic practice, life experiences and what belonging means to her.
I AM WHERE I HAVE BEEN
Hamideh has always been drawn to textile art. The feel and touch aspect of textile work drew her in and so she eventually took a trip to Italy to explore this further. In her time there, she learned a lot about working with natural fibres and when she returned to Canada, she immersed herself in learning more about designing in 3D. Wearable art requires an understanding of the rules of geometry, and so in 2013, Abol moved to Italy to study patternmaking to learn more about these rules. After that, she moved to France and worked in a fashion house to learn more about their style of creating textile art. In France, they are more interested in working in the traditional style of creating clothing by hand, rather than in a factory, which is what Hamideh was drawn to.
When living in Paris, she was living in a small studio of another artist. Underneath the sofa bed she was staying on, there was a huge stack of old historical magazines. The images she saw resonated with her, and so she started to clip and tear them up to make images. This is what started her passion for collage. Even with the limited space and materials available to her, Abol was able to explore a new form of art.
After her experiences abroad, she settled in Canada. It took time to figure out what direction she wanted to move in as an artist. It was important to her to continue to use her experiences as someone who works in 3D textile artwork while continuing to explore 2D work as well. This is what her current exhibition highlights. Since her past art was patched and sewn together, collage is very similar in style. Her current exhibition shows her experiences as a person and as a textile artist.
WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN TO YOU?
Hamideh’s work is rooted in her experience as an immigrant and as a woman. In moving from place to place, learning new languages and cultures, she has constantly had to think of who she is in relation to the people around her and her diverse background of experiences.
To Abol, being an artist is “creating things that are not meant to please others, but instead is an expression of what you are feeling internally. What you want to show the world about your thinking.” Her work is creating pieces that tell her story.
FINDING INSPIRATION AS A YOUNG ARTIST
When asked about what inspires her, Hamideh had this to say: “People inspire me. Their lives. Their stories. Seeing their culture and the different places. Travel also really inspires me, seeing different ways people deal with different situations.”
She believes that all young artists should go after what they feel and not look for judgement.
“Create for your own heart, out of your own heart.”
WHAT DOES BELONGING MEAN TO YOU?
When COVID-19 began, Hamideh, like everyone else felt very isolated, but after a certain point, she realized how everyone was affected by the pandemic which was reassuring and fueled her creatively. She was also able to connect and chat with more artists from all over the world since they started sharing more online. Opportunities to speak with new people in the same field as she was inspiring and motivating.
The pandemic fatigue eventually set in and has had its ups and downs which has changed her as a result. She focuses a lot more on personal crisis, anxiety and solitude. This was not something foreign to her as an immigrant, but now the work could speak to more peoplee as everyone had the same shared experience.
Hamideh has struggled with isolation for a long time. “I don’t even feel like I belong to my home country anymore because I have been away for so long. Maybe I do things differently and think differently.”
For her, belonging is “everywhere I have a friend, at their home that feels like home to me. The conversations we have feel like home. I find the meaning of home in the connections I make with people and the people I’m closest to. I have found a new meaning of home. Home is where you feel happy, settled and in peace.”
Hamideh’s exhibition Where is Home? is on until May 27, 2021 at Place des Arts. We welcome individual and core bubble visits to our exhibition spaces by appointment. Please call 604-664-1636 ext. 0 to book.