Koushna Navabi

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The embroidered works employ the traditional crafts of embroidery and carpetry to depict historical political events. They translate the image from life to craft to art and set up an evocative space in which to consider the politics of exile.

The small cross-stitch works Mossadegh and Carter depict newspaper photographs featuring two significant moments in recent Iranian history. One shows a weeping Shah (as the result of tear gas fired to dispatch demonstrators) standing next to President Carter on the lawn of the White House. The other shows the moment that Dr. Mossadegh - the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran - was arrested as a result of a US-sponsored coup in 1953.

Persian Carpet, has the dimensions of a prayer carpet but presents a geophysical seismic map which was used to locate, drill and extract oil from an area of the Persian Gulf.

The embroidered ball-and-stick shapes float on the lush background of a traditional 19th century Middle Eastern textile pattern and depict the chemical symbols for molecules of crude oil. They put oil it into a new geographical, historical and political context, setting up an unlikely tension between oil and pattern and between the conventions of men and politics and dirt, and those of craft and beauty.