An Artist Cuts and Sews Her Childhood in Kabul, Shining a Light on Women

Gerard Ortiz

RIDGEFIELD — Depictions of scissors are scattered among artist Hangama Amiri’s big-scale textile parts that fill the 1st floor galleries of the Aldrich Present-day Artwork Museum.  

“My uncle was a tailor, and growing up in Kabul town, he had his very own shop close by, and I used to quit by the store – and I don’t forget he experienced sharp scissors and I bear in mind the sound – which is a signature of me ideal now. A painter’s brush is their identification – for me, it’s scissors for the reason that it’s the a single that cuts these items and joins them with each other,” Amiri told CT Examiner at the Feb. 4 opening of “Hangara Amiri: An Homage to Home” at the Aldrich Modern Art Museum. 

In 1996, when Amiri was 7, she and her family fled Kabul Metropolis and the Taliban – moving from Pakistan to Tajikistan and last but not least settling in Halifax, Nova Scotia exactly where she attended significant college and Nova Scotia College or university of Artwork and Design. She obtained a Fulbright scholarship and went on to receive her MFA from Yale. She has been based in New Haven for the previous 4 decades. 

Amiri qualified as a painter but claimed she shifted to textiles in graduate school since they related much more intently with her own heritage. 

“I am nevertheless in the language of portray when I hold a cloth or textile,” she claimed. “I’ve usually experienced this sort of a fight with my romantic relationship to the portray medium. I questioned these elementary threads, like, where’s this coming from, or how do I belong to this medium? The history was so much absent from who I was growing up.”

Amiri said fabrics had been her “access and agency” developing up, with her mom and grandmother teaching her to sew. 

“We didn’t have increasing up like colour pencils, or like watercolor or painting to paint, we experienced these minimal cloths to make our personal dolls and these had been type of the elementary crafts that I grew up with,” she stated.

“Bazaar,” 2020, set up perspective, by Hangama Amiri (Courtesy of the artist and T293, Rome Photograph by Jason Mandella)

“That’s why I commenced to consider the canvas off of the stretcher bars and use the canvas as its possess fragile product and from there they come to be fragments – that variety of stuffed my world. Memory is not best. Portray was something that was just so best that I couldn’t relate.”

Amiri depicts inside and out of doors areas reflective of her family members and culture – a dwelling home, a natural beauty salon, a material retail store, an outside bazaar – in some cases “drawing” messy traces with the stitching device, over and all over materials that are often scrunched, draped, and pulled.  

She said that as she reflected on her individual cultural patterns, she was painting material on canvas and that led to questioning the substance alone, top her back to her origins and her romance to the historical past of textiles. 

She also focuses on women’s faces and feminine splendor, producing a few-dimensional planes with specific stitching and edges – a message about women’s struggles beneath the Taliban regime, its return to electrical power in 2021 and its banning of the display screen of woman image in community. 

“Mah Chehra Splendor Parlor” by Hangama Amiri (Courtesy of the artist Picture by Chris Gardner)

“Fabric is so cellular, if it goes off edges, it’s always imperfect,” said Amiri. “And I have turn into so drawn to that imperfect pitch that seriously relates to how my world is constructed, you know, my entire world has in no way been excellent. From the commencing, it was imperfect and all edges, and that imperfection will make me question far more, tends to make me need to work additional with this medium.”

“Hangara Amiri: An Homage to Home” runs through June 11 at the Aldrich Modern day Art Museum,

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