Soheila K. Esfahani has practiced as an artist and educator for more than ten years. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo and her Master of Fine Arts degree form the University of Western Ontario. Esfahani has received numerous awards and grants including the Research/Creation Grant in Fine Arts through Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her work is represented in public and private collections including the Canada Council’s Art Bank. She works from her studio at Kitchener’s artist–run center, Globe Studios.
Esfahani’s current art practice navigates the terrains of cultural translation and draws on her experience of living in both Western and Eastern (Iranian) cultures. Her recent practice explores the processes involved in cultural transfer and transformation by exploring the theoretical frameworks of Walter Benjamin’s concept of translation as a departure from the original and Homi Bhabha’s notions of the Third Space and in-betweeness.
This course explores the Islamic visual culture by focusing on three main design elements of calligraphy, arabesque and geometry in Islamic art. Emphasis is placed on aesthetic, visual, and cultural importance of visual ornamentation in Islamic art and its manifestation in the work of contemporary Muslim artists.