Saturday, March 18, 2017


Ghazaleh Baniahmad
May 01 -  September 30, 2017
Opening: Monday May 1st, 5.30-7pm
Artist Talk: 6 pmCWSE Hallway Gallery

2nd Floor OISE
252 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
10am - 8pm daily
Free & accessible

Four years ago, I moved with my family to Canada. At that time, my mother had her first stroke. Since then my life – as artist and daughter - has shifted. I focus my attention now on my daily struggle as a woman and on being a daughter of a sick mother and an immigrant. My creative work addresses three themes: mother, immigration and dreams.

I reflect on my, and my mother’s, personal journeys. The process I use requires me to excavate thoughts and emotions, and in analyzing these and by making art, I experience a healing. I focus on the love among women in our family: how my mother’s love shaped me and my sister and made us strong. My mother’s stroke has made it difficult for her to hide her emotions and now her daughters ponder whether we need to substantively show and share our own emotions to support her.

As an immigrant, I connect my personal life experiences and my Iranian heritage to my understanding of Canadian culture. My work reflects my immigration story within the context of my mother’s illness. My intention is to facilitate a dialogue with my viewers, inviting a resonance among our potentially similar stories.

I have researched dreams, symbols, and dream talismans and have created an index of dream symbols which I draw upon. I sometimes feel as if I am living in two worlds: in Canada and, in my dreams, in the country of my childhood. My dreams have been predominately located in my childhood homes but now, after living in Canada for four years, my Canadian experiences are becoming incorporated into my dream narratives.

I experiment and work intuitively with materials and processes using drawing, painting, photo-collage, sculpture and mixed media. I also use photography and found images and work primarily in black and white. This palette acts as a rich metaphor for memory.

My new research addresses my growing self-awareness of the unconscious. And, as my practice develops, I continue to find diverse ways to incorporate and manipulate materials to communicate my experiences to audiences.

Ghazaleh Baniahmad completed a BFA in Graphic Design in Tehran and moved to Canada in 2011. This new Canadian environment and her subsequent BFA in Fine Arts at OCAD University, assisted her in uniquely melding Iranian and contemporary Western styles. The result is an inclusive and accessible visual language. She uses this language to communicate with, and draw empathy from, a broad audience. Ghazaleh focuses on her personal life experiences which can be shared and open possibilities for a universal artistic dialogue.