AboutFrom 30th October-18th November, Gallery150 in Leamington Spa will be hosting Souren Mousavi's solo exhibition.
Born in Persia, in 1969, to an Iranian mother and Baraini father, Souren's ancestral line is linked to the Iranian monarchy. She acquired her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Tehran, where she actively began to use her art in the fight for women's rights. This led to her arrest by the regime, who considered her portrayals of the female form pornographic and offensive. Souren was imprisoned for a long and harrowing period of eight years, from which she finally managed to escape, acquiring refugee status in the UK, in 2006.
At times colourful and Daliesque, with echoes of Futurism, her works unfold in a series of obsessive images that refer to motherhood, creation and the power and dignity of the female realm. At others, they are more introspective, darker: indignation smoulders behind hurt and challenging eyes; vulnerable, yet proud and voluptuous female forms seem to cower in the shadows, longing for a sanctuary, far from the cruelty that mankind can inflict on its fellow human beings. The figures appear almost perfect, unscathed, implying that their souls or beauty, be it inner or outer, cannot be defiled, no matter what befalls them.
The use of colour, combined with recurring elements from nature, symbolise the artist's need for humanity in a world of brutality, where freedom of expression, sexuality and intimacy is prohibited. The flowing figures represent the dissolution of the spirit in time and space, seeking escape and renewal; the fragmented, elongated limbs, noses, mouths and eyes seem to allude to depravation, denial, the desecration of humanity and the dissolution of the âself'.
In this show, the Stratford-based artist will be presenting a series of watercolours, oils, acrylics, pastels and drawings that explore her own emotions and experiences and her difficult and painful journey to freedom.