YASMINE ESFANDIARY

My practice is an investigation of the diverse cultural, social and visual experiences of my life, which are a result of my exposure to various Eastern and Western cultures as a child. For me painting is a process of self-discovery, examining the interstices in which my personal identity lies, allowing the diverse materials and methods that I employ to engage an ever-shifting dialogue between East and West.

I utilize various techniques and styles, informed by my studies in fine art and my background in design. These distinct iterations of my practice are pieces of one whole, containing visual historical and contemporary resources. My approach presents the viewer with a dynamic history and a multitude of cultural appropriations and interpretations.

The symbols, patterns and icons in ancient Persian miniatures, mosaics, and pottery have influenced me greatly. This is most apparent in the vibrantly coloured Lustre, Splendour, and Resplendent series. The compositions in these paintings are very carefully and deliberately planned out. The icons and symbols that I use are superimposed onto the canvas using small paintbrushes and precise paint strokes, taking hours at a time to create a contemporary mystical landscape.

The White Series also features a play between the historical and the contemporary through the use of Vintage French and Italian lace, crochet, and needlework, which has been carefully collected over time. The found material in this series is transformed using acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal and chalk to create a more muted, but similarly idyllic landscape exploring form and function, as well as tradition and contemporary practice.

Contrary to my other work, my abstract paintings are spontaneous textural expressions of colour and form. I start each piece with an idea of how I want the finished work to appear, but by allowing my self-expression to take over and by letting the material act as an extension of my body, I give myself the freedom to improvise and create my own visual language.

These seemingly disparate series all have one thing in common: the synthesis of body, heart and soul. My work, as an extension of myself both conscious and unconscious, allows me to convey my own personal evolution.