Elnaz Yazdani is an embroidery artist and educator, her embroidery practice explores themes of community connection after trauma and isolation. She believes the act of coming together through hand embroidery can improve wellbeing and support the reconnection of communities and individual wellbeing. Elnaz works in embroidery and community arts across Yorkshire. Magnetic mind was created during the pandemic after a long period of isolation and illness that the artist faced. Yazdani’s practice challenges the preconceptions of embroidery by using unusual and industrial materials to contrast against the delicate process of hand embroidery. Yazdani’s work often challenges the viewers relationship with stitch, allowing them to take the time to focus on the piece and the individual stitches used to make the finished abstract artwork. The artwork is hand embroidered on wool using, purl wire, crystal, rubber, metal and glass beading. Techniques include hand beading, hand embroidery and goldwork techniques. Size: 54cm x 76cm
Elnaz Yazdani is an embroidery artist and educator based in Yorkshire. Elnaz is dedicated to sharing her skills and promoting the importance of embroidery as an art form for the future and for wellbeing.
Her embroidery teaching has enabled her to teach skills across her community, within primary, secondary and HE education settings as well as community groups and organisations. Throughout the 2020 pandemic Elnaz was commended for the teaching excellence award in embroidery via the Embroiderers Guild and became an Embroiderers Guild Scholar after the successful launch of her virtual summer school ‘Embroider Your Future’.
Her practice explores ways of transforming traditional embroidery techniques through her choice of unusual materials; she is inspired by industrial, upcycled materials and the ways in which she can embellish, connect or transform these items through stitch to develop a surface or form. Her unique embroidery style has allowed her to work across fashion, jewellery and installation contexts since graduating in 2014.
Elnaz is available for workshops, embroidery/jewellery commissions, exhibitions and collaborative projects.
In trying to make sense of the new pandemic world I took to painting. Expressing the issues faced by myself and everyone together, through my eyes of depression and anxiety depicting visual scars of isolation. Anger and defiance of the virus taking hold,. People losing their lives, families torn apart, communities distinguished from the world and the world coming to a stand still. The future unknown. Fear reverberated around the globe. Along with the first signs of unity. The sound of clapping for the workers, and rainbows galore decorated our globe.
Some time had gone by and we were all following the rules living our everyday life, like dog walking, it felt like we were dealing with a viral war, the wearing of masks, WW1 masks encroaches my mind its ugliness and crassness like the virus even so it is a symbol of protection, I become invisible to this virus. Then having visual hallucinations of peoples cloth and paper masks merging into their face. Then we all some how in some way unique to us all we would strengthen. The Star of David gave hope to me (as I mindlessly walked toward my broken faith) a well needed boost of support was welcomed by my reenergised faith. People findings strength to cope with the pandemic and coming together in adversity, love for one another stronger than before.
The phase of peace from Covid finally reaching us, people beginning to hug again. But with the stark reminders of us protecting our selves, and in doing so we protect each other. this is a lighter painting in the series as when I started it the Globe was returning to post pandemic normality and it was Spring. But then on the cusp of this, the remodelled life, a new virus breaks free, a virus of violence in the war by Russia on Ukraine. Peace for Ukraine.
I am relatively new to the world Art. I began painting at the outbreak of Covid, it was a way to release the stress and express my thoughts and feelings during the Covid times. I love all aspects of art and at the time enjoyed making things from what materials I had for example, the virus itself is represented as pencil shavings glued onto Fu>k you Covid. Covid times has a small variety of both cloth and paper masks and the third painting which is untitled has a cross placed on it.
I plan to continue with my art practice and venture into new and challenging projects.
The Motor Park is a picture story that showcases the changes that is happening in the transport system and the motor parks in Abuja Nigeria since the eruption of Covid 19.
It is a documentary project that tries to understand and picture both the physical realities as well as the psychological realities of the drivers and that of the entire motorist and extensively picturing the motor park and the new normal of the transport system.
The project is capturing the use of face mask by both drivers and passengers, the use of hand sanitizers and hand washing water containers in the park and equally the social distancing practices as well as the new sitting formula in taxis, buses and tricycles. It shall also try to capture the emotional moments of drivers and passengers, their activities and their mental struggles.
Johnpeters is a visual sociologist, with over 5 years’ experience in Humanitarian and documentary photography.
Well-travelled and have the capacity to interact with a diverse people of different socio-cultural heritage, very versatile with the global Cultures and very kin in understanding the social realities of his subject and translating these realities to visuals that will help amplify voices and serve as a tool for social advocacy.
As a storyteller he gets his inspiration from human social experiences and harnesses the tool of photography to improve lives globally. He believes that Photography is a tool for
A few things recently happened that were the culmination of a lifetime of pain. To begin to understand, accept, and deal with everything—to move on with my life—I wrote a timeline of my entire existence. It contained my deepest Core (my soul, my Being, my consciousness, my unconsciousness, my me-ness). It was my deepest self, my deepest Me, full of my nethermost fears, anxieties, doubts, and insecurities. It was my soul laid bare. A new beginning. My childhood and adolescent years had long-lasting consequences on my perception of self. Yet, I never spoke about my childhood, not even with the people closest to me. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Instead, I expressed myself through art (as cliché as this sentence sounds). My art—chronicling billionaires, politicians, the porn industry, the invisible power structures behind photography etc.—is me detesting people who believe they have power. People who abuse other people for their own self-gratification. Beings who crave power and crush other beings to feel big. People who demand respect but do nothing to earn the respect they command. Men who feel the urge to make women and children feel vulnerable and small. This was my childhood. Yet, instead of facing it, I ran, I hid, I felt alone, frightened, rejected, and unloved. This project is an attempt to be me. It is me refusing to hide. It is a self-reflective metaphysical question that I couldn’t answer until recently—what does it feel like ‘to exist’? It is an attempt to yell at the top of my fucking lungs that I exist—that ‘I am’. Nonetheless, I never want to be defined by my perceived weakness—my abuse, my post-traumatic stress, my angst, and my depression. My childhood made me the person I am today, so I wouldn’t change the past, even if I could. I exist.
Kailum Graves is an artist and binary archivist critically obsessed with the artifactual digital object. Through artworks, writing, and curatorial projects he investigates the hidden and invisible structures of power. He does this by contemplating themes as diverse as economic inequality, the algorithmic nature of digital photography, the bombardment of media imagery, the politics of fear and the threat of otherness, the shifting boundaries between bodies and technologies, photographic manipulation and its representation of reality, and celebrity culture. While this interest stems from very personal experience and is a way for him to begin to understand, accept, and deal with his own post-traumatic stress disorder, angst, anxiety, and depression, his work addresses ideas, metaphors, images, themes, (dark) humour, feelings, and symbols which are universally shared (the nuances of human existence). Kailum majored in art history and philosophy at the University of Queensland, graduating in 2011 with an Honours dissertation focused on American Internet-based activist group The Yes Men, Russian collective Voina, and international hacktivist group Anonymous as a way into discussing the wider practice of culture jamming, and to question the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. Career highlights include being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; international exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Malaysia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States; being a finalist in numerous international and national art awards; participation in an international conference in Mexico City; residencies in Skagaströnd, Berlin, Beijing, and Changsha; speaking engagements at the 2018 Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium; winning the inaugural BigCi and Red Gate Gallery artist residency exchange program; being awarded a funded residency, commission, and exhibition at PLAN8T; being featured in Digital America; receiving Arts Queensland and Australia Council funding; winning the 2016 Clayton Utz Art Award; and being acquired by the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery’s permanent collection. He was the founder and totalitarian head honcho of An Evolving Thesis—a website established to investigate and debate the cultural economy—and was the Director and Dictator of The Goodwink Conspiracy, an online residency program and curatorial platform.
Kailum is critically obsessed with the Web and born-digital content. He is particularly interested in image-rich technologies and the way global media communication—a landscape controlled by a handful of multidimensional oligopolistic corporate-run networks—can be sampled, organised, and considered in new philosophical, sociological, and political terms. Nonetheless, while these issues are political and economic in nature, Kailum believes anti-capitalist art offers no real alternative to the economic and ideological discourses of multinational capitalism. In its place, he is interested in examining the politics of the image and the construction of truth. To do this, he uses the Internet, which has normalised the act of collecting and compiling information, to preserve and curate found images and raw material. The aim is to engage with the cultural space and aesthetics of the Internet—and the vast amount of digital information it contains—as a subject, material, and tool of artistic production.
To do this, Kailum investigates different media and photographic methods—from appropriation to pixel and data manipulation—to create still and moving image projects that reflect the influence of technology on the photographic medium and sit resolutely within the context of future movements of contemporary photography. One of the most convincing aspects of his approach is the way he urges the viewer to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship to a position where they must actively reflect on the various roles of technology in our media-driven age. However, rather than openly expressing socio-political criticism, Kailum takes a gentler ‘hint-at-the-direction’ path which invites the viewer to a process of reflection. On the surface his work might seem easy to read, but on closer inspection a viewer will find that he draws upon a myriad of artistic, philosophical, scientific, theoretical, and cross-disciplinary approaches to achieve his highly refined poetic ends.
Kailum’s research delicately exists in a space between photography, Internet art, algorithmic art, and digital performance. He uses a laptop the same way a photographer uses a camera to document, record, and manipulate the world—which for Kailum is born-digital artefacts—to explore the disappearance of clear boundaries between culture, environment, and technology. He is particularly interested in the way humans use technology to transform, manipulate, and transcend natural environmental limits. There isn’t a one-way correlation; instead, a culture develops a technology, such as agriculture, to change the environment, and this technology, in turn, changes the culture and society that created it. Kailum explores this closed loop by creating large-scale still and moving images that play with the ubiquitous dichotomies between physical and digital existence.
Beyond The Obvious podcasts are brought to you by Dwell Time in collaboration with YVAN. Beyond The Obvious highlights lived experiences of artists, writers, curators and artist led initiatives from the global majority in Yorkshire and the Humber region. YVAN’s 2021-2022 Beyond The Obvious Programme is funded by Arts Council England and Sheffield Hallam University.