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  • Writer's pictureNasrin Golden

Against the Odds

"The voices of migrants, the main agents of cultural diversity and collaboration, are rarely heard and in these challenging times there is a danger that they will be completely marginalised. Hence, the focus of this year’s New Voices Series – Against the Odds 2: Open Studios is on visibility and dialogue.

The aim of the New Voices of Ireland Series is to present migrant artists to the wider online community, to let them tell about their artistic practices, their new and previous works, their plans and about themselves, their lives in Ireland and their artistic and personal roots.

Through the series we want to provide a platform for both physical and conceptual communication between migrant and local artists, their communities and their artworks." CFCP

Tree of Life

I collaborated with a brilliant artist Iordanis Sidiropoulos, Greek composer, singer and songwriter. The idea behind this collaboration was that Iordanis would compose a piece of music for one of my paintings. Likewise, I would create a visual representation inspired by a piece of his music.

This work titled “Tree of Life” is inspired by Iordanis piano piece titled “As the Leaves Fall”. This song is very meaningful, deeply emotional, and uses nature as a metaphor.

When I first listened to ‘As the leaves fall’ I was deeply moved. My first instinct was to illustrate the falling leaves as I felt it reflected the poignancy of the music. I continued to allow the music to direct my imagination which later would lead to this short animation. My intention was to create feelings of hope and happiness.

The work is deeply influenced by the forces at play within the natural world. In the opening sequence, we see a bright and all-encompassing yellow background. As we pan out, the story’s origin is revealed to be the origin of all things; a bright and magnificent Sun. It is the source, and the foundation of wholeness underlying everything. We see a solitary bird flying by. It feels free and liberated when close to its source.

In the following sequence, we see a tree, the tree of life. It is grounded in the Earth. The ‘Tree of Life’ is found in many different cultures with various associated meanings. For instance, within Celtic culture the ‘Tree of Life’ symbolizes balance, harmony and the three stages of life: birth, death, reincarnation.

The wind is seen to blow, and the tree is shaken. However, it always remains grounded by its roots. The aspects of natural law (harmony, balance) for which it represents, are unperturbed by the passing winds. They remain constant. It is the leaves which stem from the tree that feel the wind most of all.

The leaves do indeed fall. They are seemingly at the mercy of the reckless wind. Eventually we see the last remaining leaf fall to the ground. We are reminded that all leaves experience this tumultuous event as a solitary journey.

But the wind which caused the fall is finally seen to gently pick up the solitary leaf. It flies away, onto its next destination. Where it goes is not revealed. It remains a mystery. But as it leaves, we still see the bright and ever-present Sun in the background, overseeing all.

Eyes Now Forward

On a spiritual level, I have always felt that the main source of sadness in human beings is a sense of separation or loss. Resolving feelings of separation led me to create this piece titled “Eyes Now Forward”. It is related to my past memories and creating it was a healing experience to me.

The piece is mixed media. The girl is exiting the scene while she is looking back to a turbulent past. People come in and out of our lives all the time. Some leave easily. Others leave physically yet occupy a potentially permanent residency in our minds.

By painting ‘Eyes Now Forward’ I was able to let go of emotions (loss, separation) repressed and held in my body for a long time. The girl was focused on the past. Yet, she is about to exit this room. It’s a room she knows well. It’s vivid and familiar. But the time has come to leave now, to walk out into the dark unknown. While she is unsure, she knows it’s time to place her eyes now forward.

This piece also was inspired by Irodanis song.

Eyes Now Forward

As the leaves Fall”

We are falling like the leaves

That bloomed back in a spring

Withered in the cold

And we fly with the wind

And if all the light goes out

Our echos here will sound

Like music in the nights

Like non silencing cries

IordAnis Sidiropoulos

This beautiful poem is very deep and meaningful, The poem uses nature as a metaphor, and is deeply emotional.

One of my favourite poet ‘Margo Bickel’ uses the same metaphors. In her poem

Silence is full of the unspoken,

of deeds not performed,

of confessions to secret love,

and of wonders not expressed.

Our truth is hidden in our silence,

Yours and mine.”

In term of the poem used in “As the leaves fall” my understanding is that the text is about the circle of life (birth & death); Everything we go through life (our experiences, thoughts, memories, feelings and sensations) from our youth until we die. We could go through hardship in life, lose hope and remain unheard…

The New Voices of Ireland Series have been developed and run by the Centre for Creative Practices since 2013.

The New Voices of Ireland Series is curated by Monika Sapielak, an independent curator and Artistic Director of the Centre for Creative Practices.

The New Voices of Ireland Series is funded and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland."

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