My works explore personal and political journeys based on both my life and collective experiences that I have witnessed and heard about.
I’m interested in evoking an emotion expressing the concerns of everyday life such as imprisonment, immigration, poverty etc – but also seeing the other side with hope and kindness. My work explores the vulnerabilities of humans which are a snapshot of collective trauma, inflicted on us by the corrupt system. I capture this in my work, regardless of the media I use: drawing, painting, sculpture or printmaking.
My exploration of these subjects started with the realisation that there were no pictures or vivid paintings when I was a political prisoner in Iran. I became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. I was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison.
My background study was not art, so while I started to work with watercolours at home to depict the images of prison, I went to life drawing to learn proportion. My hands met clay for the first time in 2018 and I worked with several different printing methods which helped me realise that I could say what I wanted to through art. I have found that despite the lack of control over the final image in printmaking, I could play with it during the process of creation, which made the result interesting.
Both my writing and art are about our historical time: brutal power politics and social injustices all over the world as well as the collective trauma this places on people. I feel that painting and printmaking are more immediate forms of art and means of expression than writing.
These paintings of refugees are about the English Channel which is a shameful sea of blood.
Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, and spent eight years in prison. Her books are One Woman’s Struggle in Iran, A Prison Memoir and The Secret Letters from X to A (Victorina Press 2018).
Nasrin’s poetry and stories have been published in different anthologies. Her paintings were accepted for inclusion in the exhibitions, Calendar and for postcards. Learn more at NasrinParvaz.org.