Resident Artist: January 13 to February 25, 2023
Nasim Makaremi Nia is an artist from Iran, currently living in Newfoundland and Labrador. She graduated with an MSc in solid-state Physics and is currently an MFA candidate at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. She works in painting, drawing, printmaking, and textiles, and her Physics background is active in her art practice. She has shown works in several group exhibitions, including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery (NL), Eastern Edge Gallery (NL), and Inverness County Center for the Arts (NS). Her art is focused on subjects such as humanity, the lives, and the emotions of women, and she uses animals and products like tampons and sanitary pads as symbols to deal with sexuality to magnify gender discrimination and censorship. Nasim received the emerging artist award in 2022 during the Excellence in Visual Arts Awards – VANL-CARFAC.
Challenge the meaning of the “LAND”!
I am interested in challenging the meaning of the land via overlapping imagery. I am an artist from Iran living in Newfoundland as an “Immigrant.” “Immigrant” and “immigration” are words that have become bold in my life, which I had never previously thought about. This is the truth after two years; I am both homesick and still in culture shock. If Newfoundland is my home, my land, why am I homesick? Why do I not understand my peers’ idioms? Why is it hard to connect with different places, people, and landscapes?
I reminded myself that my roots, my bones are not from here. Where is my land? The land behind me or the land that I am living on currently? I am confused, I ask myself, which place is more important in my life? While I will never forget my childhood, I live in Newfoundland now. I am trying to find new directions in art. I am interested in overlapping the two places and bringing my roots and culture here.
During my residency, I experimented with using VR to integrate elements of my hometown, culture, and background into the Newfoundland landscape to create an overlap between the two lands and challenge the meanings of "land" and "home".
The main challenge I encountered during my residency was initiating a new process. In the beginning, I had limited knowledge of working with AR. However, I had a clear idea and a strong desire to dive into it. I began practicing, and I steadily improved over time. Additionally, the residency program provided me with a one-hour mentor meeting, which proved beneficial. The atmosphere was positive, friendly, and encouraging, greatly supporting my progress. Another challenge I encountered was finding helpful tutorials for working with AR. Unfortunately, some tutorial videos I came across were not beneficial and ended up wasting time.
In my artwork, I explore the life of immigration and the connection to my new home. I created unique 3D creatures based on my drawings, combining different animals. Within these creations, I hid elements related to human sexuality. This touches upon the theme of censorship. Through my art, I aim to address both immigration and censorship, highlighting their significance in our lives.
I recently began using Blender to create my "DreamLand." In this project, I made models of historical monuments and unique creatures. I then integrated them into an augmented reality experience. By combining these elements, I aim to transport viewers to a surreal and imaginative world that blurs the boundaries of reality.
Through my artistic journey, I have discovered a new world where I can address various essential subjects. The newfound world (tech) allows me to contribute positively to the world and make a difference through my art.
The residency has played a pivotal role in expanding my perspective on art. It has helped me see art from different angles and has broadened my vision and mindset. Through this experience, I have gained a deeper understanding of the diverse possibilities and approaches within the art world.
Being a part of an incredible artistic community has been a wonderful experience. The positive and encouraging atmosphere has fostered growth and creativity. Engaging in mentor meetings and conversations with fellow artists, including Michael, has been invaluable. His knowledge and expertise have been greatly appreciated.
My art explores the overlapping experiences of my home country and the country I now live in. I hope that immigrants, in particular, can relate to my work on a personal level. However, I also aim to create understanding and empathy among all viewers, highlighting the significance of immigration and its impact on humanity.