Opening doors: Interview with Elham Moaidnia

Opening doors: Interview with Elham Moaidnia

A celebratory cause

Editor: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Showcase Gallery

A new art exhibition reflects an artist's hopes and celebration about a new dawn for her nation. Buro 24/4 Middle East has the details...

Showcase Gallery presents Welcome to the Party, a new exhibition by Iranian-Australian artist Elham Moaidnida. Curated by Zimbabwean artist Helen Teede, the exhibition welcomes a new age of Iranian heritage to the region. Buro 24/7 Middle East talks to the artist about her new porject.

What is the inspiration behind the new exhibition Welcome to the Party?

It's about Iranian celebration! I wanted to showcase how Iranians live, their culture, their lifestyles and spread their message to all the corners of the globe. Here, doors are my medium and I them metaphorically to show how the doors are now open to true Iranian culture, not just how the press portrays the country.

The Godfather

As an artist you go through different stages of self-expression. How has your artistic evolution evolved?

It's more of a natural progression from motifs to expressionism. In my older works, the emotions of what I was feeling in Iran were manifested. I was upset and unhappy with the situation in the country. I was not at peace with what was happening but now, it is more of a celebration and this coincides with the change in Iran. That is the core idea of Welcome to the Party; the doors are now open and I am more relaxed and happy that my country has changed. I can be myself again and celebrate the Persian culture and traditions.

Do you believe that there is a need for censorship in art?

Censorship can make the artist smarter because it challenges you to seek different ways to express yourself. It makes you more creative and it lets you push the boundaries of what you're trying to say.

Wheel of life

You have a concept when you start a project but viewers often have different interpretations of an artist's work. Is this something that you are comfortable with?

I embrace multiple interpretations. Sometimes I don't even want to explain the stories behind the works because I want to leave it to the audience. Despite trying to spread a certain message, I am still happy if people have different ideas totally opposite to mine. There are different cultures and it's interesting to see how each person sees art according to his or her experiences.

How do you, as artists, tread the fine line between creating something which is beautiful enough to be appreciated and something which is conceptually sound?

We are all looking for that answer.

Rooster and flower

What kind of artist do you want to be known, and later remembered, as?

I want to be known as a story-telling artist, someone born in Iran who is simply looking for a way to express themselves. I want to share how the world looks through my eyes.

Temporary mistress

How does travel play a part in the lives of artists as inspiration?

Having lived in Australia for six years, I was fortunate enough to learn new styles and I now feel empowered to break certain rules to express myself freely.

Welcome to the Party by Elham Moaidnia runs from March 14 - May 14 at the Showcase Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai. For more information, visit

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