Disrupted Lives, Rooted in Europe, at Edinburgh Printmakers

Lina Rica. Image Urška Boljkovac, MGLC Archive
Lina Rica. Image Urška Boljkovac, MGLC Archive

Uprooted Visions

Tue, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 17:30, Wed- Thu 10:00 - 21:00

From: 2 Apr 2023

To: 2 Jul 2023

Edinburgh Printmakers
1 Dundee Street
Edinburgh & the Lothians

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Edinburgh PrintmakersUprooted Visions exhibition is the culmination of a two-year Creative Europe funded residency programme In from the Margins – their most ambitious residency programme to date, working with a network of five European Print Studios: Cork Printmakers, Ireland; AGA LAB, Amsterdam; Funen Printmaking Studio, Odense, Denmark; and the International Centre of Graphic Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Exhibition opening night, 31st March
Exhibition opening night, 31st March

The residencies were non-prescriptive, offering the 30 participating artists – whose lives were disrupted by being forced to leave their home countries – space and freedom to continue their artistic practice. Many of the artworks produced reflect the experience of being uprooted – focusing on themes of home, war, crossing borders and identity. 

Thaís Muniz, 'New Atlantic Triangulations Flag', screen printing on textile and painted wood pole
Thaís Muniz, ‘New Atlantic Triangulations Flag’, screen printing on textile and painted wood pole

Carrying out her residency at Cork Printmakers, Thais Muniz is one of the participating artists. Brazilian born with a strong African heritage and recently awarded Irish citizenship, Muniz is interested in the territories of identity, belonging, memory, displacement and, inwardly, love. Her work New Atlantic Triangulations Flag is a multi-layered exploration of such themes. The flag – traditionally a symbol of a nation – is made of see-through black chiffon. Printed on the fabric are simple shapes with symbolic meanings: the inverted triangles represent a progressive and matriarchal society, whilst the circles represent Ori (our inner strength according to Yoruba beliefs), unity and continuity.

Paris Goodarzi, Measuring the Distance (2023), Screenprint, etching, embossing, Edition 1/1
Paria Goodarzi, ‘Measuring the Distance’ (2023), screenprint, etching, embossing, edition 1/1

Paria Goodarzi is an Iranian-born multi-disciplinary artist who carried out her residency at Edinburgh Printmakers, where she developed the print project Measuring the Distance. Goodarzi has etched images of the back of her mother’s and her heads. These two images are physically separated, conveying how distance is impacting her family relations. The screen-printed background surrounding these images was developed from enlarged patterns taken from her UK travel documents – demonstrating how citizenship and legal status also impact this and her sense of identity and belonging. Single threads of her and her mother’s hair were placed on top of the etching plate during the printing process. This pays tribute to hair becoming a symbol of many women’s freedom in Iran, where protests escalated during her residency.

Irynka Gvozdyk, 'My Way to Home', photogravure
Irynka Gvozdyk, ‘My Way to Home’, photogravure

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Irynka Gvozdyk was forced to flee her home due to the current war. She completed her artist residency at Funen Printmaking Studio, where she worked with photogravure to produce her work My Way Home. Using photographs from her smartphone to document her journey from Ukraine into the unknown, she depicts a sense of longing and a state of devastation. The name points to the final desired destination – being back home.

Amir Zainorin, 'Contemporary Odes to the Daily Mundane' (2022), serigraphs
Amir Zainorin, ‘Contemporary Odes to the Daily Mundane’ (2022), serigraphs

Amir Zainorin is a Malaysian artist living in Denmark. Zainorin explores the process of screenprint in his work HOME. This serigraph on map explores the feeling of being an immigrant longing for home whilst still in the process of being integrated into a new country. Janet Archer, the CEO of Edinburgh Printmakers, in her speech at the opening night, quoted Zaorin’s work which has ‘You have to stand somewhere’ printed on it, stating that Edinburgh Printmakers is a meeting point where different people from different backgrounds can stand and share their story.

With thanks to Amy Miles for this review.

Here is a full list of participating artists: Dareen Abbas (Syria-Belgium), Najma Abukar (Somalia-Scotland), Mousa AlNana (Syria-Scotland), Shatha Altowai (Yemen-Scotland), Rezan Arab (Syria-Denmark), Arafa and the Dirars (Sudan-UK), Aqsa Arif (Scotland-Pakistan), Mohammad Barrangi (Iran-UK), Qëndresë Deda (Kosovo-Slovenia), Paria Goodarzi (Iran-Scotland), Azadeh Hashemzadeh (Iran-Slovenia), Naila Hekmat (Syria-Denmark), Irynka Gvozdyk (Ukraine-Denmark), Azad Karim (Iraq-Slovenia), Diaa Lagan (Syria-Ireland), Leanne McDonagh (Ireland), Anastasiia Melnykova-Blidar (Ukraine-Ireland), Barbara Miše (Croatia-The Netherlands), Thaís Muniz (Brazil-Ireland), Ceyda Oskay (Turkey-Ireland), Antony Reznik (Ukraine-Germany), Lina Rica (Croatia-Slovenia), Zory Shahrokhi (Iran-UK), Kateryna Svirgunenko (Ukraine-Denmark), Francisco Tomsich (Uruguay-Slovenia), Amir Zainorin (Malaysia-Denmark), Maja Živko (Bosnia and Herzegovina-Slovenia) and Wiktor Zwolskyi (Ukraine-Denmark).

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