2019 program pt 2

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Her Voice

Her Voice

Sepideh Farzam

Gallery 3
Opening 04.09.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 26.09.19 6-7pm

My work consists of using the characters from the Farsi alphabet in a rhythmic way. Their form and sound play a significant role in creation of my work. Some of alphabetic characters have round shapes and some with dots as part of their constituent. These dots specify the sound of the letters. Therefore, changing the position of dots changes the sound accordingly. In my artwork I mostly apply black to the lexical characters to symbolically exemplify the black veil in Iranian society, which I argue represents female abasement and subordination to patriarchy. 

My aim is to be critical and complicit in my art effort. Therefore, for this exhibition, I am presenting a new body of work entitled ‘Her Voice’ in line with my existing works and research. I intend to reveal audio signs by means of visual representation. I make the alphabetic dots through repetition. I will play with their size and enlarge them, gather them together and create a big pile of dots in order to convey my message. This piece will represent her voice, her power and strength.

My work, ‘She is in Black’ consists of six enlarged Farsi alphabetic letters, arranged next to each other regardless of their actual alphabetic character and sounds. Round-shaped characters are chosen which metaphorically represent women in my work. Where there are dots, they are removed from the character to represent the loss of individual identity for women. The colour black addresses the veiling.

My works, ‘Black Carpet’, ‘Absence or Presence’ and ‘Unheard Voice’ are hand-knotted carpet made of silk and wool. ‘Black Carpet’ is a rectangular black carpet and one of the Farsi alphabetic letters is woven into it. Respectively, ‘Absence or Presence’ is square and has been divided into sixty-four pieces, equally in black and white, with two characters woven into mesh. ‘Unheard Voice’ is rectangular and has been divided into twenty equal squares. I have eliminated dots that ordinarily appear above or below a particular character. Thus, they are altered to only their unique alphabetic forms.


Sepideh Farzam is Sydney based contemporary artist. She completed Master of Studio Art in 2010 and Master of Fine Arts in 2013 at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, as well as having an undergraduate degree in Electronic Engineering from Azad University, Tehran, Iran. 

Farzam has held more than ten solo exhibitions in Australia and Iran. Her last solo shows were held in 541 Art Space and Factory 49 in October and November 2018. Farzam’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in Australia, Iran and internationally, most notably the 2011 Florence Biennale. Her work is included in collections of Pasargad Bank museum, Tehran.

Farzam has taken part in several art residencies in Europe and will be attending the NARS Foundation art residency in New York in 2020. Farzam was awarded Cite Internationale des Arts Residency in Paris in 2013 and received third place in the Small Wonder art prize at Linea Spazio Arte Contemporanea in Florence 2011. She was also nominated for the 2012 Jameel Prize, V&A Museum, London.

Personal memories and what it means to be female are at the heart of Farzam’s creative practice. From these perspectives her artwork examines issues that implicate society, politics, and culture. Farzam is drawn to various media such as installation, textile and painting to develop work that offers a metaphor for the oppression of women. Childhood memories, lived experiences and her cultural background, which is Iranian, inform the work she produces.  


Sepideh Farzam, She is in Black, 2010, MDF, 200x170x3.2 cm (approx. each letter)

Sepideh Farzam, Black Carpet, 2012, Wool and silk (handmade carpet), 130x100x1 cm

Sepideh Farzam, Absence or Presence, 2012, Wool and silk (handmade carpet), 120x120x1 cm