Lunenburg School of the Arts welcomes
Artist-In-Residence: HANGAMA AMIRI
Hangama Amiri – Artist-In-Residence
This year, as an artist-in-residence at Lunenburg School of the Arts, I’m furthering my academic research on “War, Women and Afghan Heroines” that encompasses the cultural, historical, psychological and social conditions experienced by Afghan women in the pre- and post-Taliban rule in Afghanistan. In this research-painting project I would like to articulate two major themes: the notion of war culture relative to the lives of Afghan women, including how war affects their daily lives, dreams, hopes, and future; and, how the affect of war disempowers and silences women and fosters a female dependency on male dominance.
On one hand, my work depicts the victims of war, but on the other hand, I’m interested in exploring stories of strong female role models who have challenged some aspects of conflicted society throughout Afghan history. These voices are from four activist Afghan women: Malalai Anna Maiwand; Suraya Tarzi; Zohra Yusuf Doaud; and, Meena Kaeshwar Kamal, all of whom played an important role in Afghan society in terms of women’s rights, equality and freedom of speech. This led me to my post-graduate studies at Yale where I was able to investigate critical arguments by exploring the powerful voices of my four above -mentioned Afghan heroines, including the liberated vision proposed by each of them for an enlightened future for Afghanistan. My purpose in bringing their voices into painting is because through my studies, I have found no formal visual artwork or research written or expressed about these very important women.
“Lunenburg School of the Arts is pleased to have Hangama Amiri return to our School to do these paintings in furtherance of her research project,” says LSA’s Volunteer Chair, Senator Wilfred Moore. “Not only are we fortunate to have an artist of Hangama’s high calibre working in our studio, it is heartwarming to know that she feels at home here, all of which enables her to complete these works of art.”
About Hangama Amiri
As an Afghan-Canadian artist, Hangama Amiri paints on the subject of childhood memory, cross-cultural dialogue, and Afghan feminism. She paints in the styles of representational realism and abstract realism, using large-scale two-dimensional surfaces, integrating mixed media: oil, acrylic, screen-printing, and earth on canvas.
Hangama received her BFA (Major in Fine Arts) from NSCAD University in Halifax NS (2012), she was an artist-in-resident at NSCAD Community Studio Residency in Lunenburg (2012-2013) and a Canadian Fulbright and Post-Graduate Fellow at Yale University School of Art and Sciences in New Haven, CT (2015-2016). She has exhibited her paintings nationally and internationally, recently in New York City, Toronto, France, Italy and London (UK). Her first solo exhibition, The Wind-Up Dolls of Kabul, was displayed at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in the fall of 2011. Two paintings from The Wind-Up Dolls series were selected for IV Passion for Freedom Festival London (UK), 2012. Her collaborative project, “Dome of Secret Desires” was shortlisted at 5th Passion For Freedom Festival London (UK), 2013, and her recent collaborative video project, “My Motherland” (2015) was premiered at Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
Amiri has won the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Voluntarism Award, the 2013 Portia White Protege Award, and in 2015 her painting “Island of Dreams” has was a runner-up in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.
Hangama would like to thank Arts Nova Scotia Equity Grants and Lunenburg School of the Arts for their support to complete her painting project on War, Women and Afghan Heroines, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. She would also like to express her gratitude towards the rich artistic community of Lunenburg for their inspiration.
Artist Talk and Exhibition TBA.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia B0J 2C0