24 January 2023
Niloufar Lovegrove is drawing from the imagery and mythology of Persia.
The Works of printmaker Niloufar Lovegrove in Too Little, Too Much represent a deft fusion of cultures that not only allows profound new perspectives on environmental crisis, but also acts as an exploration of the artist’s personal identity.
Too Little, Too Much is a meditation on water through linocuts. The artworks were created over the last three years, during a time when eastern Australia experienced multiple disasters: draught, bushfire and catastrophic flooding.
While these environmental catastrophes weighed on Lovegrove, her centering of water themes is delivered via an almost otherworldly, figurative visual language informed by her background. “You’ll see the use of ancient mythology and historic motifs from my Persian heritage to retell our current news, in order to specify the timelessness of the theme,” she says. “My first sketches were directly taken from the extremes of flood and fire, translating into misery and sorrow. Gradually they shifted away and started to picture an ideal habitable land instead.”
Lovegrove, who is originally from Iran and now lives at The Caves in Central Queensland, is drawn to the imagery and mythology of Persia for its oneiric, otherworldly qualities and escapism, as well as its “mystical poetry”.
“For me, the sense of rhythm and idealism in Persian artforms is fascinating, and [represents] a desire to open the window to an almost unearthly love, by the adoption of symbolic elements.”
The show also addresses Lovegrove’s personal history, as she reconciles living in rural Queensland with her earlier life. “I have found myself trying to recapture memories by using these Persian motifs and stories to express a feeling or react to a current event. This helps me personally, in connecting my old knowledge to my current lifestyle, as well as offering the viewer a quick escape to another world: Iran.”