Samira Abbassy's collage shows a female figure, her hair raised and her internal organs revealed in X-ray fashion. Her expression conveys what Abbassy describes as a state of rapture, as if in a meditative trance. Nearby are trees inhabited by colourful birds, with some of their patterns derived from Indian textile blocks.
Inspired by "The Conference of Birds", a twelfth-century verse by the Persian poet Farid Al-Din Attar, Abbassy's work depicts the physical and spiritual elements of human existence. Inspired by this idea, the natural forms of the trees and birds symbolise self-knowledge, while the woman's body represents the anatomical or physical aspect of life.
Samira Abbassy was born in Ahwaz, Iran in 1965 but at the age of two she and her family emigrated to England, where they settled in Kent. She studied for her BA in fine art and painting at Canterbury College of Art from 1984 to1987. She has exhibited in Tel Aviv, Madrid and London, where she won the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition M&G Prize in 1997 for the best painting by an artist under 35. Today she lives and works in New York where solo exhibitions of her work were held at the Skoto Gallery in 2002 and at the Anthony Giordano Gallery at Dowling College in 2007.
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