Artists Announced – Landscapes & Horizons Residency
Landscapes & Horizons is a new fully funded group residency for Scotland-based artists and cultural practitioners, aged over 40, from refugee and other migrant backgrounds. The residency will take place in Cove Park, an international artists residency centre located on an outstanding rural site on Scotland’s west coast.
This Spring, the chosen artists will partake in a week of creative activity, including workshops and events facilitated by activist and artistic director of Bijli Productions, Mariem Omari, director, writer and performer Nick Bone, and environmentalist Michaela Blair. They will also take time to rest, reflect, and pursue their own interests.
We are thrilled to have awarded the residency to six artists and cultural workers, creating and working in diverse fields: Haleh Jamali, Oleksandra Novatska, Iman Tajik, Daria Oskolkova, Paria Goodarzi, and Ako Zada.
Haleh is an Iranian woman artist, who views video art as a storytelling tool that creates immersive experiences that resonate deeply with viewers’ emotions. Passionate about exploring themes of identity and societal issues, Haleh wants to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about Iranian culture, while also shedding light on the challenges and complexities faced by individuals within her society. She wants her art to contribute to the cause of gender equality and promote a more inclusive world.
Haleh sees this residency as crucial to her artistic evolution as it will allow her to delve into concepts, themes, and techniques without any external restrictions or limitations. Collaboration and cultural exchange with diverse artists will enrich her artistic palette and broaden her perspective.
“The unwavering courage and resilience of women who strive for their equality deeply inspire me. I utilise painting and video art as a platform to amplify their voices, their stories, their struggles, and their triumphs.”
Oleksandra Novatska is an artist and curator from Lviv, Ukraine, now living in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. She works mainly with watercolour and pencil, adding other materials and techniques where a project requires them.
Last year, Oleksandra held a solo exhibition entitled ‘Faraway. From Ukraine to UK – A Tribute’ in Dumfries, which then travelled to Inverness. The exhibition told her story as one of over eight million stories of Ukrainian women and children who have been forced to flee their homes in 2022 in search of safety and security.
“My new project is called ‘Integration‘ and I will reflect on how my Ukrainian origins and Scottish reality are intertwining. I am researching and comparing Ukrainian and Scottish myths and legends, cultural and historical traditions, and will make new works on paper and on canvas to show this integration.”
Iman Tajik is an Iranian artist based in Glasgow. His work is anchored in a strong social interest and demonstrates an effort to make work that is a critical tool connected to international movements for social change. Tajik’s work addresses issues of contemporary conditions of life with a particular focus on migration and globalisation – thereby bridging the gap between art and activism, to create work as a form of socio-political currency, addressing power structures.
Iman’s practice involves photography, moving images, sculpture, installations and performance. Through these various mediums, he ’performs the border’ stressing the right to freedom of Movement and the need to resist barriers and boundaries; including those that create a divide between self and others.
Inspired by personal experiences of crossing geographical borders and socio-political barriers, through his work Iman stresses the need to recognise those social and political barriers that favour of some but not all.
Daria is a Ukrainian artist, a writer and now a painter. Her connection with art became tangible in the summer of 2016 when she visited the studio of Vladimir Shaposhnikov and Anna Ielizarova. Daria says, “Two artists, a master and his student, worked on vast canvases opposite each other. The powerful impression I received from this single visit gave me the inspiration I carry in my heart to this day…It took me a while to notice that a common thread ran through my spiritual search, writing endeavours, and even my academic pursuits: the ineffable concept of non-duality.”
“‘There is nothing that can stop me from painting tomorrow,’ I thought putting down the brush. It was the 23rd of February 2022. The next day, I was woken up by the sounds of artillery in a completely changed world. Life took over … I hope that the Landscapes & Horizons residency will reignite my creative spirit — two years after it has been brought to a halt by war.”
Paria Goodarzi is an Iranian-born artist and social art practitioner, a member of UNESCO RILA Affiliated Artist network, and The Young Academy of Scotland. Paria studied BA(Hons) in Textile Design from the University of Science & Culture in Tehran, Sculpture & Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art, and Master of Adult Education, Community Development & Youth Work at Glasgow University.
A significant aspect of her work involves the creation of socially engaged art projects that respond to concepts of cultural belonging, representation, and displacement. These projects enhance the well-being and visibility of individuals from diverse cultural and social backgrounds.
“I use my art to explore cultural and political transfers and translocations, as well as reflecting the pull of the contemporary human condition, cultural identity, and displacement. I am a multidisciplinary artist, delving into the formation and representation of identity, often producing collaborative, participatory, and socially engaged artworks.”
Ako Zada is a Glasgow based multi-disciplinary artist originally from Iraqi Kurdistan who arrived in Scotland as a refugee in 2011. He has studied paper making, pottery, photography and printmaking and integrates these techniques with his community work supporting refugees and the Kurdish community in Glasgow.
In 2022 Ako experienced a sudden, life threatening illness which had a long and gruelling recovery. He has used art throughout his illness and recovery to express himself and process his experience. This deepened and expanded his understanding of how creativity helps individuals to deal with difficult emotions and trauma.
“I have always used art and creative practices to express myself and I was surrounded by a strong tradition of poetry and song. But the political and social conditions in Iraqi Kurdistan during the 80s and 90s did not allow me to focus on or develop my creativity.”