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Mokarrameh’s Fantastical Art

In a far flung village near the Caspian Sea to the north of Iran, an elderly woman is discovered painting the walls and appliances of her kitchen with paints found around her house and using her bare hands and fingers.

Her son had just sold her beloved cows and, in her sorrow, she had retreated into herself, so he encouraged and supported the act of self expression when he discovered her newfound craft.

Thus, almost at the age of 70, Mokarrameh Ghanbari emerged as a modern artist and her works were exhibited at art galleries and exhibitions in Tehran and abroad.

Her unusual works inspired an Iranian film director to make a documentary based on her life. Mokarrameh lacked formal education, had been married off to the local landlord’s brother at the age of 14 and lived in her old age in a humble home in the village of Darikandeh in the countryside around Babol City.

Her work has been described as being populated with ogre like men, colourful and with themes from Persian literature and myths.

After she passed away in 2005 and, according to her son’s wishes, was buried in the garden of the house, it became a local art museum.

We are treated to a taste of her musician son’s fantastical and lingering music in this multimedia piece, whilst listening to snatches of Mokarrameh’s words and being shown her drawings.



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