By Maya AlShabab.
Fashion, cinema, photography … they’re all really manifestations of the same force of creativity and beauty. And this is what brings us to Shirin Nishat.
An artist from Qazvin in north-western Iran, Shirin Nishat grew up the frouth of five children. Her higher studies in Loas Angelos, as well as her prolonged exposures to many different cultures and traditions that are radically different to her own, nudged her gradually towards an expression of the ways in which she reflected on these differences.
In 2010, Nishat was named Artist of the Decade by The Huffington Post. In an article that accompanied this award, Denson, a critic at The Hoffington Post, says, “(Nishat’s) work responds to the ideological war being waged between Islam and the secular world over matters of gender, religion, and democracy… Quite simply, I chose Shirin Neshat because more than any other artist I can call to mind, the impact of her work far transcends the realms of art in reflecting the most vital and far-reaching struggle to assert human rights.”
Those Arabic and Persian letters drawn on the body, are ones that are also made of gold and worn. Those Henna decorations are ones that adorn the hands and feet of women during celebrations. And Nishat’s art has not only crossed cultural borders to communicate universal ideas, but also made those communications using prominent Eastern and Iranian fashions.