Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen
In the second year of the project, the work in the installation resulted from collaboration between artist Alinah Azadeh and the same groups who took part in the first year. The installation moved away from representation through human image: the outer, familiar manifestation of identity. Instead, participants explored how portraits of the inner, ‘hidden' self could be created. Personal objects were wrapped with cloth, concealing them and making them a part of the collective piece. Text was integral as it is in traditional Islamic culture, in this case focusing on the names of the participants in Arabic, represented in the form of the 99 names of Allah.
Alinah Azadeh is a British-Iranian artist with a background in painting, new media and video. Since her MA in Media Arts Practice at Westminster University (2001), she has created installations that combine textile media with texts and networked technology. Collaboration and mass participation are central to her work, either with other practitioners or the audience itself.
Other recent projects include The Shape of Things : The Gifts, a textile installation for Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Feb 6 - April 18, 2010): 999 small objects were donated by members of the public which had personal meaning for the Giver. These were wrapped and bound using fabric and yarn, and suspended from the ceiling of the gallery to form a large composite piece.
© National Portrait Gallery, London and the Chasing Mirrors Collective