I’m Gazelle Bastan, third year in Art History and Studio Art at Concordia. I have been working on Persian carpet motifs for about 17 years. I started my practice by illuminating calligraphy (illustrating manuscripts with ornamental patterns), and later began developing original illumination work independently from these scripts. Recently I have incorporated women’s figures into my motifs, as a way of imitating the aesthetics of traditional Persian carpets and paying tribute to their weavers, who were traditionally women.
Study of a Dream documents my personal experience of being creatively inspired by a recurring dream. While painting, I felt like I was almost meditatively probing into this dream, reimagining it in deeper detail in order to depict it visually. The Persian carpet motifs in this piece are based on my own lived experience and interpretation of Persian social traditions and stereotypes. I used pond and water patterns to represent our unconscious, inevitably affected by our experiences. The fish represent the dynamism of my dream, simultaneously animated but restricted within my imagination, which I also evoked by depicting myself bordering the four sides of the composition.