Untitled II

Sepideh Mehraban
Untitled II, 2021
Silk and wool tapestry
Work: 301 x 203 cm

Untitled I and II are hand-woven and hand- dyed carpets produced with collaborators in India. The work visually and materially translates fragments of Mehraban’s paintings into richly textured tapestries. The work reveals detailed marks layered onto the surface of the carpets. Mehrabian's practice traces personal histories, particularly the 1979 revolution in Iran, which was a populist and nationalist movement consisting of diverse groups who united to overthrow the monarchy. Mehraban reflects on this history of protest in relation to her native country, Iran, as well as in relation to South Africa, where she lives and works. In a 2019 Interview, Mehraban notes; “I’m constantly traversing between past and present to create new narratives. The final works are not fixed and are in a state of flux/change. My process of making involves collecting both ephemeral (memories, stories, oral history) and physical materials (newspapers, archives, carpets, family photographs), and then placing them together. The end product is open to interpretation as I do not want to narrate a certain event and it is more about a sensory experience.” Reflecting on the work, O'toole writes; "While painting remains central to Mehraban’s conception of her practice as an artist, her artistic lexicon additionally encompasses the word translation. ‘This is not Propaganda’ includes two hand-woven carpets produced in India. Each carpet translates fragments of her paintings, focussing the viewer on her vivid marks. Each carpet is composed of 20 differently coloured fibres, each hand-dyed. The uneven and distressed surface of the carpets represents a further translation of Mehraban’s paintings by her collaborators in India"