Textile Art - Shortlisted 2010
British-Iranian Alinah Azadeh, uses textiles, media and space to create artworks that engage audiences in a process of self-reflection and emotional connection with each other. She has collaborated with weavers, programmers, designers, community groups and the general public on a mass scale.
Azadeh is interested in the poetic within everyday life and the use of ancient practices such as gift-giving, Moshaereh (communal poetry reciting) and bibliomancy to inspire socially driven artworks
Her work is diverse and inspired. The Loom; From Text to Textile (2005) highlighted human relationships to life and death via the computer-mediated weaving of a 20-metre textile, involving hundreds of people from across the globe. The Bibliomancer’s Dream (2009) was an interactive installation for Southbank Centre, which took the form of a circular set of giant bookshelves, stocked with inspirational literature and attached to giant scrolls and writing desks. The project invited visitors to make playful use of the ancient ritual of bibliomancy (the art of divining with books) to create a collective poetic text contributed to by thousands of members of the public over four weeks. Her piece, Mother to Mother (2006) is an online, participatory ‘Garden of Values’, which grew out of dialogue and weaving workshops with other mothers. Both this and The Loom’ were inspired by Alinah’s own mother who died in the Asian Tsunami just after her first child was born. These events have become a creative force in her life and her practice, opening up new questions around life, death and the transmission of cultural values.