The Mine is pleased to present The Impact of Tangency, a two-person show by Iranian artists Nastaran Safaei and Farnaz Rabieijah. A tangent is like a glancing blow. Perhaps you barely feel it. Perhaps the actual point of contact is so small so as to be nearly imperceptible, but it still leaves its mark all the same. A bruise spreading across a cheekbone; ink blooming across paper. We talk about tangentsthat point when an object, any object, touches a curveas distractions, as a kind of veering off course. At the same time, theres a certain honest immediacy in following a tangent, and perhaps a certain vulnerability too.
Safaei and Rabieijah are best known for their large installations that translate contemporary gendered and societal concerns, often at a monumental scale. Here, the artists translate themselves. The longtime friends found themselves standing at similar junctures in their lives, both as artists and as women. In these new bodies of work, they trade in their usual medium of sculpture, which involves extended tactile contact and a very manual engagement with the materiality of the object, for a series of experimental approaches to print. What emerges, unfurling luxuriously onto paper like a long-dormant shoot, is a feminized interiority and a sense of connection, both to nature and to the outside world.
In her Body Impressions series, Safaei uses her own body to make marks on textiles. Unlike the full-body prints of Jasper Johns or David Hammons, however, the body is not depicted but only intimated here, with smears and swooshes that might be a shoulder or perhaps a knee; it is unclear. Spidery skeins of dots connect body parts to each other, sometimes trailing off over the page with a tentativeness that directly contrasts with the assertive intensity of these body prints. In Rabieijahs Spinning Plate series, meanwhile, plants are pressed into paper to leave beautiful deboss-like indentations. Unlike pressed and preserved plants, the botanic matter is then removed
And discarded, leaving only the void behind, like a trail of perfume after someone has forever walked away.
The Mine+ is pleased to present Stitches To Save 9 With, a solo show of new works by Fari Bradley.
In this exhibition, Fari Bradley explores the nuances of language, history and memory. Contemplating either the usefulness or destructive nature of traditionally recited proverbs, truisms, and dictums alongside several new ones for today, Bradley renders them as signifiers, using textile and mixed media.
Stitches to Save 9 With pits the deliberate form of stitching against quickly spoken lines, fleeting inspirations and ‘quippage’. A proverbial expression, ‘a stitch in time saves nine' is an incentive: to mend a tear in a cloth, now, before it becomes larger and harder to mend. The ‘nine’ refers to the greater number of stitches that will be needed later, if one quick stitch isn't performed ‘in time’. This and other wise homilies in this body of work are falling out of use - just as hand stitching itself is disappearing.
Using a range of materials, Bradley employs methods and tools that formed part of her upbringing. With a parent who studied and practiced professional dress-making, offcuts had been Bradley's childhood playthings. Here, alien found objects, chanced upon threads and remnants serve as inspiration for her work, chiming with the popular reaction for a DIY aesthetic, against today's overwhelmingly disposable culture of low cost production. Such stitched works, while historically a hobby for the upper classes, also reference a certain Anglo-Saxon work ethic preached at the poor. Referencing this WWII 'make do and mend' work ethic, spoken, chanted lessons for life are rendered in traditionally feminine techniques, employing domestic skills that young girls once had to demonstrate in order to become 'marriage material'.
Decoratively, Bradley's pieces resist a perspective framed in language, that often posits the idea that human experience is 'male experience'. No man is an island, for example. Yet while Stitches to Save 9 With is founded on the often sombre messages behind these mechanically memorised sayings, Bradley's techniques employ layers of satirical significance and testingly playful semantics.
Working mainly as a sound and radio artist, Bradley's previous works include musical scores rendered in weave, or sculptures combining textiles and electronics. Knitting patterns were a doorway into the algorithmic processes of electronic music, while sewing patterns were parallels to the diagrams used in building electronic circuits, and are a visual language Bradley has explored in her arts practice since 2006.
Marcel Proust’s observation “The remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were” inspired Bradley to visualise memory expressed as an imperfect picture, on which we have all embroidered our own threads, colouring experience as we saw them. Here the emotion involved in remembering contrasts with the automated way in which, for centuries, past generations have handed down these immutable wisdoms. Such spoken adages were modified to make them easy to remember and repeat, yet lack the vital quality of adaptation, by which all things must survive.
The Mine+ is a brand new platform dedicated to emerging regional talent and international guest artists. It is delighted to host Fari Bradley for the space’s third exhibition.