Star Seed is a new work created by Nazanin Marashian with the Afghan Women on the Move.
This delicate artwork was installed over two days and is made of turmeric, paprika, cardamom, cinnamon, dried herbs and poppy seeds.
The symbols, seeds and spices to link refugee women’s experiences and how they find empowerment. The eight-pointed star is a symbol often used in Persian carpets, Islamic art and esoteric mysticism. In this work it represents a compass, a potent symbol of finding one’s way back home; the elemental forces of nature: air, water, fire and earth; and the goddess Ishtar/Innana – the goddess of love, pleasure, joy, and empowerment of women.
The seeds and spices, those most commonly found in Afghan kitchens (turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, dried herbs and poppy seeds), express the idea of planting seeds and ‘growing’ a new identity in a new culture and country. The small discs carrying the women’s personal intentions radiate out from the centre, representing the potential of new beginnings and expansion.
This work is part of our artistic program Daneha, which explores the displacement of the Afghan community across the globe, and the cultivation of roots in foreign, unfamiliar soil.
5 July – 8 September 2018