Farniyaz Zaker's creative approach is informed by her experience of living between the two very different cultures of Iran and the UK. Her work embodies her intercultural identity, encompassing elements from both sides of the Europe-Middle East axis. Zaker presents the viewer with aspects of her personal story, intertwined with broader contemporary social and political issues. Her exploration of cultural concepts of female perfection that exist within both cultures and their imposition on women, addresses the contradictions between constructed identity, inherited traditional attitudes and the realities of women. She draws out both the differences between Iran and the UK, as well as underlining similarities.
Zaker's work covers a range of media, often alternating between traditional modes of expression, such as textile and text, and more contemporary video and site-specific installations. A recurring element is her juxtaposition of architectural references and female apparel from both cultures, drawing out their analogous roles in mediating between the public and the private.
Farniyaz Zaker, b. 1982. Major exhibitions include Something There Was That Must Have Loved A Wall (solo), Pi Artworks Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); The Fortress Man, Mark Rothko Art Center, Daugavpils, Latvia (2015); I.A.F. (solo), Sharjah Art Museum, Eastern Section, UAE (2014); Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale, Venice, Italy (2014); Repeated Return (solo), Dolphin Gallery, St. John's College, Oxford, UK (2013); The Wall of Europe, Paese Museo, San Sperate, Sardinia, Italy (2013); In site, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK (2012); [HYPHENATED], The North Wall Gallery, Oxford, UK (2012); and Pardeh, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts, Oxford, UK (2011). Public collections holding her work include Art and Video Insight Foundation Collection, Bologna, Italy and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey. Zaker received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Arts from the Ruskin School of Art, The University of Oxford in 2014.
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