Bahareh Akbarisafa spent two years researching the spectacular, functional art of Persian carpets which have roots in her culture and relate to her identity. Indeed, the world of Persian carpets is full of emotions, poems, stories and mysteries about life, humanity and love. There is a huge connection between carpet design, poetry, Persian calligraphy and Persian illumination, which are all in danger of being lost. Bahareh’s project seeks to conserve these arts and carpets, depict their connections to each other and to life and bring their real beauty to the world. Enclosed gardens are an important aspect of Persian life, often symbolizing a model of paradise which is the inspiration of every carpet design. The most beautiful and famous Persian poems were inspired by nature and the idea of paradise - the word paradise itself is derived from the ancient Persian word pairidaeza, meaning a walled garden. Bahareh uses photography as her key tool to introduce and talk visually about these otherwise secret stories, their meanings, symbols, and connections to related arts. All the details of the images come from different carpets and all of them have different meanings. By creating new images, through a collaging technique that combines the old patterns of the carpets, she is not just cataloguing the designs, she is able to respond to them with her own inner stories which she has written as poems inspired by the stunning poems of Hafez. To respond in a way that has been inspired by the Hafez poems, is to keep the language of the carpets alive and make stronger connections between these arts.
Bahareh Akbarisafa • Xiaojian Guo • Fiona Macphee • Neve Marinou • Hayden Wilde • Miriam Winsor •