21,680 pages, 2011, ink, acrylic and paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text: Esheghe/”Love”, 48 x 48 x 3.5 in.
22,500 pages, 2011, ink, acrylic and paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text: Eshegh/ “Love” 48 x 48 x 3.5 in.
92 pages, 2011, ink and paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text: Esheghe/”Love”, 76 x 76 x 9 cm.
10,000 pages – (side view), 2011, ink and paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text: Esheghe/”Love”, 76 x 76 x 9 cm.
Dream, 2010, Digital Photo Archival Paper
Hold II, 2010, Digital Print Archival Paper
Fur, 2009, Digital Print Archival Paper, 16 x 20 in.
10, 400 pages, 2011, nk and paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text: Esheghe/”Love”
Disc, 2011, acrylic and ink on arches paper, 66 x 66 cm
Grid IV, 2011, acrylic and ink on arches paper, 66 x 66 cm
A constant element of my work is the significance of repetition, process and time. In works comprised of paper scrolls, individual strips of paper have been marked with the word “eshghe,” both hand-written and printed in Farsi. While the most direct translation of “eshghe” to English is “love” its expressive power is “passion.” I chose this word because it encompasses my longing and search for acceptance and understanding. The repetition of text, in particular the word “eshghe,” is a recurring element in much of my work of the last decade. Using concentric forms of text and material I seek to magnify its meaning.
Writing by hand on strips of paper, I repeat what is printed, filling in gaps to emphasize a particular, existing form. For each work I decide on a limited color palette. As I roll the paper the colors on the edges of the strips align, creating bands of alternating hue that stand along side one another, while at once, seeming to merge into new color formations which are often delightful surprises. I may decide to repeat the color sequence but I try to encourage myself to let go so new combinations may arise. Placing each scroll side by side, I make decisions about color and composition at every step of the work and so the process of making progresses much like a painting or drawing. What interests me is the tension between control and spontaneity that emerges at every step. During the repetitive process of adding paper strips to create individual scrolls, text and symbols are hidden within these concentric rings of material as the scroll grows outward. There are compositions of printed and handwritten text sealed in the work that sometimes I wish I could see again, that are now relinquished to the eternal turning within the work.
Concentric forms of text and material also take inspiration from the Sama dance of the whirling dervishes with the resulting work as the physical expression of my awe.
Born Iran, 1969. After completing a BA in Painting at the University of Maryland Shafie moved to New York in 1993 to live and to study painting at Pratt Institute, where she graduated in 1999 with an MFA in painting. Shafie presented her thesis exhibition September Promises in 1996 which featured a large body of work comprised of “eshghe” drawings on mylar and her first video installation Spin (1995). Shafie’s work to date is the continuation of the same principles of repetition and the exploration of the farsi word “eshghe” english translation is love/passion.
Shafie left New York in 1999 after accepting a fellowship at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County and began a focused time on performance and video art , she completed her second MFA degree in Fine Arts in Digital Media in 2004. Since then she has maintained her studio and art practice in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently lives.
Posted by Carmelita Caruana