In Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi's paintings on Mylar, she confronts the war, inside and out, that a native born Iranian woman living in the U.S. would encounter on a daily basis. Living in Iran until she was 18, Ilchi knows the cultural furies that exist within society and her own psyche. Using vibrant color representative of her youth, there is an optimism to her work as her heroine bombs and parachutes her way through the turbulent land and sea.
Incorporating scrolling vines, Ilchi literally infuses the work with visuals from the traditions of her homeland. Rapunzel-like black flowing hair signals escape and the ultimate freedom for a woman who wears no burqa. Landscapes are filled with color that pops while bombs explode, fire consumes and smoke fills the air. Ilchi's heroine is powerful, yet untouched, almost an observer to what is going on around her, she brings flowers, balloons and baby pacifiers into view. Seemingly whimsical, these accessories symbolize the seeds of birth women bring into the world.
A bomb that looks like a pencil with a string attached to her hand, illustrates the power waiting to be unleashed by the freedom education brings to the women of Iran.
It is a timely show that brings hope while showing the conflicts of cultures that are personal and at the same time, something that the entire world is watching unfold.
The show runs through October 22 at JK Gallery.