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Paved Paradise: Samin Ahmadzadeh

Samin Ahmadzadeh is an Iran born artist based in London.

Her background in street photography is combined with the passion of expressing her personal views on sociological and cultural matters of her country Iran.

Her practice continues to evolve with a specific focus on archival collections of her family’s cultural history. With photography as the starting point for her work, Samin is currently developing her practice through further processes into collage, installation and printmaking.

Nature/Culture:

As urbanisation takes hold of our everyday lives, as cities increase in size and population, the natural world become peripheral.  This project examines how people attempt to introduce aspects of nature into their urban environment, and how culture can influence this process.

The focus of the project is on the presence of nature in different forms, in details of still life objects.  The images in this collection have been photographed in houses across Tehran, Iran. 

As time passes, Tehran is becoming increasingly urban. Beautiful old houses, gardens and the surrounding natural world are being destroyed and encroached upon by the relentless growth of bricks and concrete.

The representation of nature in urban environments then, speaks to the culture of that environment.  Nature, the urban, and culture exist in an ineluctably symbiotic relationship, but one that is increasingly unequal as nature is marginalised.

Today, nature has been relegated to the status of ‘the other’ in its relationship to modern urban culture, and so we must look harder to find it.

These images attempt to capture the fleeting glimpses of nature available to us in our personal spaces in Tehran, and question the implications that they have on its culture.

Samin