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In all the ancient civilizations such as Iran, China, India, and Greece, man always viewed himself as 'part' of a bigger 'whole' called nature. In his eyes, nature was the source of life and not only did he interacted and coexisted with it, but also satisfied his needs in it. To the ancient man, nature had a divine aspect, so much so that he always praised gods and goddesses that each represented some natural elements in a way. Many philosophical and mystic schools even presumed nature to be the God itself.
Whereas from the beginning of the modern era, the relations between man and nature has been totally transformed. Man is no longer part of nature; instead he is 'the ruler of nature'. In this era, nature becomes the source of man's exploitation and its single significance is in satisfying human needs. The ideas of enlightenment thrived in this era with an anti-myth and disenchantment claim and with the help of concepts such as reason, science, liberty, equality, law, and progress but it painted a picture of the world in the end that is incongruent with its ideals: World Wars, nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and degradation of nature which in some ways was the result of the emergence of technology and the havoc reason wreaked. The instrumental reason with its desire to subjugate nature to man has put both nature and man in chains. In this modern approach, nature is considered a huge and emotionless machine. Even the animals that had been part of it were considered beings without soul and were dissected alive. The sound of the tormented animal was analogous to the sound of cogs that were not greased up and the suffering of nature's animals was just as absurd as imagining a knitting machine tired of working too much.
In her collection of works, Firoozeh Akhlaghi has attempted to present a novel outlook towards 'equilibrium' and 'coexistence' of man with nature and its parts by reviewing and studying the ways of life humans had adopted in the ancient Iran. Her works contain embodiments of human, animals, and natural elements all depicted in a 'single whole'; there, the figure of human is intertwined with other animals and no dominance on his surrounding environment can be seen. Akhlaghi gets inspiration for every element and sign in her works from symbols and seals that are part of Iran's seven thousand years legacy. By encountering these works, the audience gets immersed in a world that all of its beings are portrayed in a stable compromise. Bright and original colors of these pictures establish a completely emotional relationship between each part and man is no longer the only conscious and emotional member of the world, rather all creatures are living in a harmonic equilibrium.
This collection of works illustrates a new form of living in the world which induces the audience to reflect and have a look at his surrounding world without a concern for his self-interest and dominance so that he can find a new way of living in unison with the world.
Materials and Techniques: Mixed Media on Canvas