A little over a year ago, in September 2022, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran by the Iranian government’s morality police for wearing her hijab improperly. Three days later, she was dead. Eyewitnesses reported that she was severely beaten immediately following her arrest, which led to her eventual death three days later. The ensuing protests and demonstrations from an outraged and heartbroken public were the largest in the country since 2009, and they informed a new body of work by Iranian-Australian artist Ramak Bamzar.
“Pro Femina is an acknowledgement of sacrifice and a celebration of the women who have lost their lives in the 21st century just for basic freedoms,” says Bamzar. “People who are not just names and hashtags but real, living and vital souls.”
The works are presented alongside Bamzar’s 2022 series Moustachioed Women and Rhinoplastic Girls—an exploration into the religious dogma, gender inequality and censorship the plagues the women of Iran.
Shown as part of the the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB), the emotionally charged collection is made from carefully constructed settings that reference the cultural history of the country, as well as canonical features of portraiture throughout art history. Art Gallery of Ballarat director Louise Tegart describes how Bamzar “Weaves together traditional Iranian and Western imagery to tell a harsh story of violence against women in Iran. Her works hit home and bring these stories of heroism and resilience to the viewer in a very immediate way.”
View, in pictures, Ramak Bamzar’s tribute to the strength and struggle of Iranian women—those who have been lost, and those who remain and remember them.
10 regional shows to see this summer
From an intriguing exhibition on baroque masters to a show ostensibly all about dogs, here’s our curated list of regional offerings to see throughout the country this summer.
It’s a Horror Show
Horror is where the marginalised can see themselves—as a horror-themed exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art reveals.
Unboxing the cultural impact of sneakers
Sneakers are a cultural phenomenon made up of paradoxes. Some see them as an accessible and inclusive force in fashion that serve as an outlet of self-expression for many; yet to others they are a symbol of out-of-control consumerism. Two Queensland exhibitions are embracing these dualities, though from contrasting angles: Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street at HOTA on the Gold Coast, and Torsion at Brisbane’s Metro Arts.
The spirit of Emily Kam Kngwarray’s Country
A comprehensive new survey at the National Gallery of Australia pays tribute to Emily Kam Kngwarray and the Country she loved.
Andrew Taylor on the impossible task of preserving the present
In a new exhibition at Olsen Gallery, Andrew Taylor interrogates how we perceive time, the nature of memory, and how today is just tomorrow’s yesterday.
Alex Hamilton creates landscapes from the built environment
In a new show at Jacob Hoerner Galleries, Alex Hamilton paints urban spaces as vast landscapes.