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Artist Spotlight: Freedom Exhibition Pieces that Portray Freedom's Path

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

The exhibition shares a diverse range of artworks that explore the theme of personal freedom and self-expression as well as different aspects presented through political, social, and personal freedoms.

From paintings to sculptures, each piece will portray a unique perspective on the theme, offering visitors a glimpse into the diverse ways in which freedom can be interpreted and represented. It offers a powerful reminder that freedom is not just a political ideal but a fundamental human right that must be defended and cherished.

This blog will highlight the works of the Freedom Exhibition that portray the internal and external struggles and costs of maintaining freedom by utilizing the past, separating the self from the external world, internal emotional struggles, and finding the source and path of evergreen freedom.

This tapestry by Martha Shade titled, Eris/Discordia (2021), is a 14 x 14 inch hand-stitched embroidery. First impression of this piece is the centralized composition of all the subject matter, from the surrounded tanks, bullet circle, and female figure placed in the center of the frame in side profile. Eris is the Greek goddess of conflict and Discordia is her Roman counterpart. Shade was inspired by the Afghan war rugs and infused the two historic elements to create a shared context of war amongst disagreement of fundamental issues. The main colors used are red and yellow with some blue that pop used by the grenades on either side of the figure. She holds a machine gun with eyes raining in tears down her skin guiding the viewer to her death symbol tattooed arms and combat boots down in her feet. Her deity is affirmed by the yellow wings on her back with green fighter jets and leaves promising hope and the overpowering nature of her strength.

Marzy Rahrovi’s piece titled, Freedom (2022), is a 48 x 60 inch mixed media painting. The subject matter consists of a bouquet of flowers expanding outward breaking away from a metal chain link. There is also a braided hair draped on the top left of the composition tied and connected to the bouquet. The main colors used are yellow, red and green, with the red standing out from the darkness of the green. This is an action filled piece of violent expansion towards freedom and escape from the hands against oppression. Rahrovi depicts the painful struggle endured in the modern day by Iranian women who have lost their lives in political and human rights clashes.

Parisa Ghaderi’s photograph titled, Isolution (2022), is a 30 x 20 inch image of a hidden figure blending into the hanging system of an Ikea closet feature. This staged photograph is just one piece from Ghaderi’s project titled, “Go Home!” The frame is filled with solid black negative space. The subject matter is in the upper left corner of the composition. We see a few white shirts hanging, some wood hangers, and a petite person stowed away like an article of clothing within the closet amongst the shelving. As an immigrant, Ghaderi explores the meaning of home and its connection to space, walls, windows, and other physical objects sold to us to recreate what home is.

Steven Jensen’s piece titled, Voyage To Valhalla (2021), is a 32 lb mixed media sculpture made with found steel, rope recycled glass and resin. It’s 30 x 6 x 9 inches. The subject mater consists of two life-size skulls set in resin sitting in a small weathered boat sailing away to on a journey mourning the slow death of earth. The two skulls could symbolize the duality of life. Physical and non-physical, male and female, life and death, and so on.

Susan Bagrationoff’s piece titled, Emergence (2022) is an 18 x 24 inch acrylic piece of an ethereal being surrounded by waves. The primary colors used are various hues of blue and white. The figure’s face is partially covered by the blue waves while se is looking upwards out of the spiral she is encased in. It feels as though the figure is somewhat trapped and seeking a way out.

Jun Oem’s piece titled, In Lak’ech, (2014) is a 20 x 30 inch photograph of a wide landscape image with a Native American figure walking across a barren horizon. The figure is dressed in a white traditional outfit walking towards the right of the composition. Some mountains are seen in the back a couple small clouds. All there is to notice is the woman’s solitary walk through a desert land. Her journey becomes that much more valued and highlighted. The connection between her and the land is endless. The freedom of prayer between us individuals and the higher being is not bound to a specific place other than within our own hearts.

T. Lilja’s piece titled, Early Risers (2021), is a 12 x 12 inch collage of several vintage and classical found portraits and visuals. The subject matter varies in such a way that they still create a cohesion. Some examples of subjects are The Great Wave by Hokusai Katsushika, scenes of a moonlit sky, beaches, valleys, portraits of 19th century men sitting and enjoying coffee, portraits of royals or clergymen, humble women of the world, a group of athletes in a relay race, depictions of the wild west, and ancient stonework figures. The artist likens their collages to that of dreams and tarot, where both interpretations are done in the same way.

Yilin Dong's piece titled, Crawl (2020), is a 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting. The subject matter consists of a young boy holding onto a cardboard model of a dog while on a running track out on a field midday. The colors are bold in yellow, green, red, and blue. Although the the colors are bright and cheery, the expression of the figure suggests the opposite. Dong has created this piece in light of the Covid lock downs in China. Back then, Chinese university students used their creativity to gently protest the lock downs by walking their card board pets outside.

The Freedom Exhibition is open June 22nd through July 21st. Come by and see these great works and more. Come read our Freedom Exhibition Artist Binder and learn about the artists' biographies and art statement to get a deep dive into their work. These works and more are for sale in person at Gallery B612 in SODO, Seattle, Washington. Location and business hours are below.

Thank you for supporting local art.

To purchase the Freedom Exhibition artist booklet, click here.

To see photos of the Freedom Artist Reception, click here.

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