Artists of the WE HOPE Exhibition at Ballhaus/Nordpark Düsseldorf!
In the dynamic spirit of Women’s Empowerment – Live the Change, Change Lives, the WE HOPE Exhibition at Ballhaus/Nordpark Düsseldorf captivated audiences from September 21st to October 1st, 2023.
As we fondly revisit the triumph of this empowering showcase, we are excited to shine a spotlight on the outstanding artists who lent their unique voices to this memorable event.
First up in our spotlight is Zahra Hassanabadi, whose talent and creativity not only enriched the exhibition but also resonated profoundly with the theme of empowerment.
Join us in celebrating Zahra Hassanabadi’s enduring impact as we dive into reflections on the WE HOPE Exhibition. These reflections serve as more than a mere glimpse into the past; they are a continued exploration of the empowering narratives and creative journeys that unfolded during this unforgettable exhibition.
Zahra Hassanabadi, born in 1964 in Shiraz, Iran, has been living in Germany since 2001. In her works, she uses unconventional materials such as food remnants, steel sponges, and plant parts to create new aesthetic values and depict the vulnerability of human existence. One notable aspect is the use of head forms as symbols of identity, with facial features absent, and the heads are shaped solely by the nature of the materials. In her paintings, she constructs abstract landscapes using graphic elements such as dots, lines, and shapes, representing fictitious places of longing.
Zahra beautifully integrates her Iranian heritage into her art. She combines her grandmother’s old embroideries with heartfelt letters from her family in Farsi, emphasizing her profound connection to her homeland and rich cultural background. Some of the Zahra’s artwork often features head forms, symbolizing identity. These heads lack facial features, emphasizing the way they’re shaped solely by the characteristics of the materials. It’s a powerful exploration of self and the notion of identity.
Featured Works: Nostalgia, Tschelgis
The Iranian artist Zahra H. has been living in Germany since 2001. In her works, she uses unconventional materials such as food remnants, steel sponges, and plant parts to create new aesthetic values and depict the vulnerability of human existence. In her impressive series Nostalgia, she processes her complex longing for her original homeland.
This series consists of dozens of phone cards that the artist and her family used for conversations over the years and then rendered worthless. The phone cards were collected between 2001 and 2015 and intricately woven into a colorful carpet in multiple steps, forming an aesthetic bridge from the West to the Middle East. It remains open what sorrows, pains, and hopes were conveyed over this textile bridge.
Nostalgia raises some significant questions. On the one hand, it speaks to an important phenomenon of our time, namely the migration of people. On the other hand, it honors the ancient craft of women and highlights the role of women. The carpet art in her homeland could never achieve the perfection and aesthetics visible in this series.
Another central theme of this series is the confrontation of classical and modern implementation. H. seeks a new way of creating artworks by designing a carpet without weaving it in the traditional sense. She says, “It should only look as if it has been woven, a graceful appearance to complement the wonderful handiwork of women.” In any case, I have woven my story into this work, the patterns from my life and time, my decision as a woman to go into emigration, my longing.