Shabnam’s vibrant ‘Carpet Grew Like a Garden’ looks inside Iranian life; Coming to Gallery 263
For even more reason to look forward to 2021, the exhibit “The Carpet Grew Like a Garden” begins Jan. 14 at Gallery 263 in Cambridgeport, showing works by Iranian-born Shabnam Jannesari. The life-size works are vibrant with rusts and ultramarine blues that pop from a common element: the intricate Persian rugs on which women lie, sit and stand, contrasting patterns and colors often infiltrating into their shirts, skirts and tights. The artist floods domestic rooms with pattern and color, the gallery explains, freeing the women from societal rules on carpets representing a world that transcends everyday life.
The works explores the censorship of Iranian women by a patriarchy and invites a dialogue to reconsider assumptions about women whose lives have been circumscribed by Islamic culture, the gallery says, and Jannesari is in some of the images as well – holding a camera. Since graduation from the University of Guilan in Iran, she’s become an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; this first solo show is part of Gallery 263’s Exhibition Proposal Series, selected by a competitive jurying process.
Add-on: Celebrate the presence of Iranian-Americans in Cambridge further with a pre- or post-gallery stop at the recently opened La Saison Bakery near Fresh Pond. Soheil Fathi’s pastry and bakery business, transplanted from Tehran, has become a phenomenon, with goods selling out fast. But by Jan. 14, Fathi may have his second oven in place.
“The Carpet Grew Like a Garden” will be shown through Feb. 13. The gallery is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays, with no more than four masked, distanced visitors allowed inside at the same time. Gallery 263 is at 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport.