Raizvanguarda welcomes another artist to our residency; Sevda Khatamian who came all the way from Turkey to experience what Raizvanguarda has to offer. Read the interview to get to know Khatamian and her work better
What attracted you to come to Raizvanguarda as a resident?
I was looking for a calm environment to focus on
my project, be surrounded by nature and get inspired, meet other artists and discuss art practices or how they express themselves. It’s been a while that I’m traveling, and I wonder about different cultures and the kind of life people live around the world. I usually choose to stay in small towns and villages, because I believe that’s where you can find roots and traditions untouched.
Where are you from? Tell us about your educational background?
I’m originally from Tehran, Iran, but I’ve lived in Turkey for more than eight years. I studied graphic design, fine arts, and worked as a designer for a couple of years.
In which field of art do you work, what topics are important to you as an artist? What are you passionate about?
I choose my medium based on the idea that I’m trying to express. I combine writing and drawing a lot, and I capture videos or pictures when the words aren’t enough. I mainly work on memoirs. I’m interested in things that are slightly twisted and out of the ordinary. Small things happening in the vast scenery draw my attention. Everyday life, ordinary people and incidents, strangers I meet randomly, family backgrounds, changes and series of events in my surroundings are the things that inspire me the most. I believe things have spirits too.
Tell me a little bit about your project that you’re working on here in Raizvanguarda.
I’m working on an animation called “The Street”. It’s a part of a memoir project that I started working on more than a year ago. The first part of the project is a book, Morning People, which was published in April 2017. The project is about the life I had in Istanbul, describing the changes it went through in the past few years, and the effects of the political storms on our ordinary lives. “The Street” can be defined as the silent side of the project, animated images and visions that couldn’t be described with words. I’m also working on my postcard project called “Lonely Places”. They are drawings of deserted corners and spots that I see as I travel.
What do you like the most about Raizvanguarda?
I like this village and its people a lot, the paths and roads connecting the surrounding villages, the forest and the grapes I could pick as I walk around, the weather and the sun. I like my studio a lot, and that I can perfectly concentrate on my work. But, what I like the best is the melody the church of the village rings every hour. I love how it doesn’t ring on time!
If you want to see more of Khatamian’s work, you can visit her webpage.