Walking through the streets of Bristol I discovered the beaming light and haunting shadow of Sara Zaltash in the window of The Milk Bar on St Nicholas Street.
24th November 2014 17:30pm
Sara Zaltash was bound from her neck to the ceiling with black cloth, like a sorcerer conducting her spells, magically lit by a series of ambient lamps. She was stood on her tip toes weaving yarn through a bird cage mesh, casting majestical shadows around the space . She was painting an uncomfortable tapestry of colours and shapes. The meaning – coded, but the expression – present indeed.
I felt unwelcome, yet intrigued, like a peeping Tom peering through the living room window of a rowing couple .
I began to draw conclusion between the body, the tapestry and the agglomeration of objects that surrounded her. Photographs, instruments, food, drawings, messages, sketches, technology, lighting and even a living parrot. There was semiotics associated with the west and the middle east. Objects of the everyday and objects of the unordinary. This work was undoubtedly biographical, hovering somewhere between the past, present and future. A statement which was certified by the extensive chalk writings along the right interior wall.
I could feel an innermost confusion, perhaps even sadness, the artist was trying to find something. Added to this, there was a real sense of presence and prodigy in the air, the artist had a story to tell, an agenda to promote, a song to be sung. A narrative full of hopes, fears and discoveries.
There was a beautiful moment where Zaltash stopped weaving her tapestry. She stood, looked down at her feet, ran her fingers down the side of her face and then gazed at the posters on the wall beside her. A rising, sinking, and re-rising of her chest, she then returned to her tapestry. This moment was not staged or rehearsed, it was a true moment of human expression, a bodily response to an interior feeling. This moment filled me with emotion, emotion for the artist and an emotion for myself, driving my thoughts towards my own tensions and thoughts, chaotically bouncing between my own past, present and future.
“Tuul – a trilogy harvests evocative personal moments from Sara Zaltash’s experiences as a British-Iranian woman growing up through rock and roll, religion and cultural transgression. The word, “tuul”, means “duration” in Farsi. The artwork consists of three separate durational pieces that together form a trilogy. Extending the duration of the artwork to encompass the duration of an adult lifetime, Sara plans to perform the trilogy in its entirety every year for the rest of her life” (Sara Zaltash, Tuul Online)