Exquisitely Iranian

By Shalomi Daniel

It was indeed an artistic feast. Exquisite handicrafts and beautiful miniature paintings, greeted those who braved the inclement weather and visited the National Art Gallery this week.

The Iranian Cultural Week was organized by the Cultural Section of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran on February 11.

Mr. Sami an expert in inlaid work

The event comprised an exhibition of miniature paintings and handicrafts and an Iranian Film Week. Eye-catching posters with pictures of Iran and an introduction to the country were also displayed to give visitors an idea of the country which is home to a vibrant and ancient culture. This was further enhanced by the art work beautifully and artistically displayed.

Miniaturist Ms. Jafari, one of the artists present at the occasion has been in the field for the past 11 years and says that many of her paintings are based on religious themes. “I had a talent of painting since childhood,” says Ms. Jafari adding that her interest in the art of miniature paintings inspired her. A miniature is a small, minutely detailed painting depicting religious or mythological themes. They are quite famous in Iran but can only be accomplished with a very fine hand and small brush.

Also visiting Colombo was Mr. Sami,an expert in Khatam, a famous handicraft unique to Iran. Khatam or Inlaid work is where a wooden surface is decorated with delicate pieces of metal, bone and wood cut in geometrical figures and shapes. This handicraft has an ancient tradition and history.

This intricate craft demands hard work, immense concentration and adroitness of the artist, all of which are manifested in Mr. Sami’s work. Both artists were most appreciative of the Cultural Week and emphasized that the event was well conducted.

Come, see the stories of Balgo Hills in Western Australia

The Australian High Commission presents "Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art", an Australian indigenous art exhibition from February 16 to March 2 at the JDA Perera Gallery on Horton Place, Colombo 7.

Balgo explores the stories, lives and history of indigenous Australians from the Balgo Hills in Western Australia. Consisting of 26 contemporary indigenous paintings and etchings from 18 internationally renowned and emerging artists from the remote Balgo Hills region, the exhibition presents a range of stories that demonstrate the strong connection Aboriginal people have with their traditions and the ways in which those traditions are being maintained and celebrated today. This exhibition is produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in conjunction with Artbank, the Australian Government's art rental programme.

The exhibition will be held on weekdays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends.

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