Ornamental Oppression is bringing attention to cultural pressure on Middle Eastern women using Persian and Islamic patterns.
In this body of work, Islamic Geometric patterns have been used to represent the repetitive rules and traditions that have become a pattern in life and we follow in society. Patterns which seem beautiful and ornamental but they turn into broken pieces of tiles and shards. I have drawn and painted the patterns precisely using the mathematical rules behind them but they become destroyed in their design and lose their order eventually in the paintings and they are completely painted against their original form and in a chaos when they become in contact with the woman’s portrait, which is historically associated with western traditions of figuration. The transition zone between the patterns and the portrait is the main focus of the painting and where the tension occurs. The physicality of the paint also gradually changes and gets thicker where the patterns seem to be falling on the portrait till they transform completely in to thick brush marks working contrary to the rendered portrait.
With breaking the order of the patterns and changing the physicality of the paint, I want to raise the question of whether it is possible for one with this specific culture to break free from cultural rules and conventions. Like Qasim Amin asked in his “The Liberation of Women”, “ Why should a Muslim believe that his traditions cannot be changed or replaced by new ones, and that it is his duty to preserve them forever? Why does he drag this belief along to his work, even though he and his traditions are a part of the universe, falling at all times under the laws of change?”