MFA Thesis Exhibit

Sheyda Azar

Sculpture-Dimensional Studies

Artist Statement

I am terrified by this dark thing 
That sleeps in me; 
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, 
its malignity. 

Sylvia Plath, Elm

The primordial darkness, fragments of thought and feeling emerge, shaped by
a desire for freedom from burden and molded through systems of power and
hierarchy: this is how my concepts are born, forged with inner fire. My work flows to
and from my body which serves as origin, focal point, and terminus. The body absorbs,
metabolizes, reforms and readjusts itself under the weight of its experiences, and its
abuses, and it is my driving principle to transmute these parasitic energies and abject emotions into my guide to insight and agency. This manifests through bodily forms, senses, and expressions, linking these aspects to the body’s history and associations in order to reveal its transformative potential.

A turbulent dynamic, shaping and reshaping my identity, manifesting through my body-as-art and art-as-body as I seek to broaden awareness of the chasm beneath the external self. Hence my work is conceived through immersion and vicariousness, sharing with others the indistinction between reality and imagination. Sexual organs, breasts, arms, legs, hands, fingers and nails, bone; these forms coagulate through wax and iron, confronting or beckoning the viewer with their grotesque and alluring natures. Faces of fear and shame are excised and preserved through mask-making. In contrast with the organic shapes, harsher, artificial elements impose and adorn themselves throughout the work: chainmail acts as accessory and barrier; rough-hewn metal implies an artifact from ages past; and various devices and implements suggest torture and pleasure in equal measure, alluding to power-play and BDSM. Many works embody aging, wear, and corrosion, turning even durable materials into symbols for decay or transformation. Time confronts us with mortality, becoming the agent of self-realization.

Metal hoop sculpture suspending an object in the middle. Click to view Metal hoop sculpture suspending an object in the middle. Full-Screen

Sheyda Azar // Cursed in an Earthly Fusion // cast aluminum tablet, steel chainmail, steel frame // 6.5’ x 6.5’ x 1’