Thursday 29 November – Monday 17 December 2018
Private View Wednesday 28 November 2018, 6-9pm
31 works from Bita Vakili, considered one of the most successful female artists in the Middle East, were held at the UK border from Monday 12 November until Thursday 15 November. The works were due to go on display at CAMA Gallery in London’s Westminster as a solo show, opening that week. CAMA were informed by government officials that this was due to their country of origin.
The show has now been re-arranged to open with a private view on Wednesday 28 November 2018.
This is the second time CAMA have experienced difficulties with transporting works coming from Iran. Photographs by Iranian film directors for CAMA’s Time Lapse exhibition in LA were also delayed due to extensive checks and concerns regarding sanctions.
Bita Vakili’s works are not considered to be notably political, which raises questions as to why they might have been detained. Vakili uses mixed-media on canvas (oil paints, acrylics, fabric, pencil, markers, plasticine, dough, tissue paper, staples, and a variety of adhesives) to create a three-dimensional visual works that explore natural changes, both external and internal that happen within a lifetime, as well as the abstraction of scent, space and corporal elements.
CAMA co-founder Kyle Norman has stated: ‘It appears that trade restrictions are making it more difficult but not impossible for Iranian artwork to be showcased in the US and the UK and this could trigger the rise in demand as well as value of the artwork due to limiting the supply. Either way we will have to adjust accordingly - every artist in the world deserves the right to present their works to audiences globally.’
For this particular exhibition Vakili uses the figure of human foetuses within abstract forms, as a symbol of pure life, naked and unpolluted. Encompassed by Bita’s work, evoking the security of a mother’s arms, the growing life forms explore the continuity of life and death. Vakili considers her work as inherently Iranian, drawing on elements of Persian miniature painting.
Vakili says: ‘My motivation for creating this body of work is to visualize the skill and patience of feminine creativity as a seed of hope, as a moment of promise for a brighter future. In a way, it is a response to the growing need for positivity in the face of difficult times. My effort is to celebrate life, a genuine and pure life, highlighting hope and beauty in the heart of tragedy.’
For more information or to rsvp please contact Anna Beketov, Damson PR: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)20 7812 0645.
CAMA London: 19 Dacre Street, London, SW1H 0DJ
Private view: Wednesday 28 November 2018, 6pm – 9pm
Notes to editors
About Bita Vakili
Born in 1973 in Tehran, Bita Vakili has been painting for over 25 years, mostly working with mixed media on canvas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in painting from the Faculty of Art at Azad University and a master’s degree from the Faculty of Art at Tehran University. Vakili has showcased her work at more than 70 group exhibitions in Iran, United Arab Emirates, Canada, USA, China, Monaco, France and more.
CAMA Gallery aims to be a leading force in the growth and expansion of the art industry in Iran and the Middle East. CAMA aims to provide a politically neutral platform on which to showcase the wealth of artistic talent in Iran. CAMA presents all genres of Modern and Contemporary Iranian art in international exhibitions and online, and offers Iranian artists exposure and global recognition. CAMA Gallery has three galleries in Iran, a gallery in London, and has plans to open a permanent space in Los Angeles.