Shirazeh Houshiary - Visual Artist
Amu; photo Shirazeh Houshiary
Born in Iran in 1955, Houshiary has lived in Britain since the mid-1970s, She refuses to inhabit a ghetto either Western or Islamic, instead inventing a new order alien to both. Her work suggests a stage prior to and beyond differences, in which everyone finds something they can recognise - the pulse of life, the trace of a self, something akin to the visualisation of human presence.
Recent projects include a commission for Art For the World, Playground with Pip Horne, at Gloucester Primary School, Peckham (2004). Another collaboration Breath, (2004) was created for Battery Park, New York City, 2 blocks from "Ground Zero". The project, organised by Creative Time, is a tower structure made in white glazed ceramic brick and sound. Sound emanates from inside the structure from chants of four different religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam. As the chants interweave, they call for unity and connection.
For Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Shirazeh Houshiary has worked on Amu, providing the animation entitled Veil. Inspired by the "Veil of St Veronica" by the Spanish painter Francisco de Zubaran, the animation utilises images from Shirazeh's paintings and is used as a way to reveal the breath of Laila and Majinun, the principal characters of the Sufi poem set to music for Amu by Sir John Tavener.