Farniyaz Zaker

The Earthly Paradise

Installation, 2008–2010

Silk screen on Persian carpets and textiles, wire, nails

The Earthly Paradise series is a homage to the Persian carpet and an exploration of its role as a medium of spatial transformation. Carpets both reflect and generate space. They do so through their texture — a complex array of knots, wefts and warps — and through their intricate designs, such as the garden design, whose motifs and patterns draw on the actual layout and details of Persian gardens. To those familiar with these gardens and with the religious and poetic tropes associated with them, carpets have traditionally served as a refuge from the often arid and harsh climate of Iran and as a symbol and earthly embodiment of paradise. This series’ artistic intervention draws attention to these cultural, historical and spatial contexts, which often no longer exist or have been destroyed or forgotten, and are therefore sometimes lost on contemporary viewers.

Farniyaz Zaker (Iran–UK)

Artist, writer. Born in 1982 in Tehran, Iran. Zaker's multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as video, sculpture/installation, drawing and print. Much of her practice explores how bodily practices and spatial awareness define our sense of identity, belonging and the very concept of knowledge. 

Zaker has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. In 2011 she was awarded the Lamb and Flag scholarship from the University of Oxford, which enabled her to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Art. She has exhibited at Sharjah Art Museum; the Ashmolean Museum; Etemad Gallery, Pi Artworks Gallery and Laing Art Gallery. Her works can be found in private and public collections, including The Arter — Space for Art, an initiative of the Koç Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey; Video Insight Foundation Collection, Bologna, Italy; and the Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia. Lives and works between London and Berlin.