Exhibition Flowers, 2016


Catherine Benny, Shahrzad Ghaffari and Homeira Mortazavi share the space at The Gallery at Victoria Hall

COMMUNIQUE                                                                                    February 2, 2015

Catherine Benny, Shahrzad Ghaffari and Homeira Mortazavi share the space at The Gallery at Victoria Hall

February 3 to 27, 2016

The Gallery at Victoria Hall is pleased to bring together three artists who share a passion for the floral world and have transformed that passion into art. Catherine Benny, Shahrzad Ghaffari and Homeira Mortazavi all explore the floral theme from unique perspectives. But whether from close up or afar, the images of isolated flowers beginning to bud or fields of impressionistic swaths of colour, rekindle our delight in this eternal theme. While flowers have served metaphorically throughout the history of art as symbols of life and plenitude, these works remind us of the sheer fact of their physical beauty and the emotional response they evoke.   The exhibition runs from February 4th to February 27th ; the vernissage takes place Wednesday, February 3rd at 6 p.m. As well, the public is invited to An Artist and Curator Exchange on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 p.m.

Catherine Benny`s works offer a lively and impressionistic take on her subject – mostly fields of flowers depicted from differing vantage points with emphasis on shifting hues, from brilliant yellow to subtle creams and soft lavenders. The artist has developed an approach to painting that involves blending the colours directly on the canvas using a palette knife. A rich tonal variation is achieved through a deft painterly touch that captures a sense of transience – as if the fields are in constant transformation and movement. The layered, built up texture of the painting surface adds to the viewer`s engagement with not just the subject but the paint itself. Since 2011, Benny has exhibited in several group and solo shows in Montreal and Florida; she is represented in Florida by Gallery 2014.

Shahrzad Ghaffari`s photographs move the viewer to an intimate often `”zoomed in” view of her subject – flowers isolated against an atmospheric backdrop that serves to underline the intricate delicate structure, texture and hue of her theme. For Ghaffari, her attraction to nature`s beauty, in particular flowers, has become a happy obsession, if not a form of meditation as she focuses for hours on capturing the specific color, emotion and movement of her chosen image. “A dialogue ensues between what attracts my mind, the subject and my camera. I try to materialize what I feel and see.” The reduced or minimal compositional format reinforces this sense of meditative reflection as if we are asked to bring our own attention to bear upon the beauty of the image before us.

As a painter, Homeira Mortazavi`s central focus is on women and flowers, in particular the rose; the two themes are often symbolically juxtaposed in a surreal fashion. Several of the large format oil paintings featured here offer exquisitely rendered intimate views of roses, grouped such that a rhythmic pattern of tonal pinks, corals or the softest blues, keeps our eye moving across the canvas surface. Three of the works bring together figure and flower, as, for instance, `”In Peace’ where the female figure turns away from the viewer to gaze at the looming image of the open rose as if greeting a friend or acknowledging a communicating presence.   Mortazavi`s technical skill is repeatedly evident in the handling of both human and natural forms as she celebrates the beauty of both.  Mortazavi has enjoyed both solo and group exhibitions in Montreal, Quebec and in the United States.

Fatemeh Borhani

With Christine Long and her cameraman

Assaad Salehi beside my painting

Beautiful Friends from West Island

Mrs. and Mr. Rahimian, Razieh Razavi in the middle

Afsaneh and Shahrzad

Opening of the show

Elham Manouchehri, Reza Abaee, Pasha Karimi

with Arian Aryan

with Lew Yung-Chien

With Keyvan Mahjour

Catherine Benny beside her painting

Shahrzad Gaffari,Christine Long, Homeira Mortazavi

Shahrzad Gaffari, Victoria Leblanc, Homeira Mortazavi

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Homeira Mortazavi
  • Phone: (514) 938-8066
  • Email: info@homeira.ca