Azadeh Mehryar ( She/Her )

Artist Statement

My artistic practice explores the encounter, tensions, and contradictions of a cross cultural dialogue between the contemporary and Persian cultures. While my work seeks to represent the distinctive features of the two cultures, it exhibits an interweave, a twist, a harmonious dance of the two worlds’ most striking attributes. I am inclined to reflect this juxtaposition through ceramics, and my creations involve sculptural and functional vessels, sculptures, and installations/arrangements employing a variety of techniques.

The effective cross-cultural dialogue that I aspire to develop in my practice, takes form through harmonious interconnections between the contrasting themes of the contemporary and Persian cultures. The most prominent contradictory themes that I endeavor to juxtapose, fuse, and ultimately develop a cross cultural conversation with are on the one hand the intricacy and meticulousness of Persian art and architecture which encompass my heritage, and on the other hand the abstractness and elusive nature of the contemporary culture. The effective juxtaposition and interconnections of these opposite themes will emerge a new entity, a new concept, a new alliance that will ideally evoke critical discussions and reflections to the viewers.  

Admittedly, incorporation of the Persian aesthetics into my works is driven by my sense of belonging to my heritage. It allows me to stay connected to my roots and explore my cultural identity as a contemporary artist living in diaspora. However, it is also perhaps due to the fact that despite its rich and exquisite characteristics, Persian culture, art and architecture has received far less recognition than it deserves, or its global recognition has been under political influences, which is in fact far from reality. As a result, I feel the responsibility to take action and create art in which the true values of my heritage stand out within a contemporary framework.

Inevitably, my practice takes form through a great deal of research and investigation to come up with the most effective dialogue between the two realms. The highlights of such immense research include but not limited to an extensive comprehension of both Western and Eastern arts throughout history, their dynamics, their influences, and their aesthetics. In fact, my work reflects who I am personally, and culturally, and it could somehow serve as self portraiture as I often find myself dealing with double cultural engagements.

While my work is informed by the whispers of Persian art blending with the rhythms of contemporary style and it is reflective of issues such as cultural identity, migration, diaspora, and hybridity, it as well demands a great deal of attention to detail, skills and accuracy. Although my most favored building method is slab building, I am intrigued by various building techniques, and I often combine hand building and wheel throwing to create my works. As for the surface treatment, I am interested in exploring various techniques including carving, piercing, relief, and underglaze painting to inspire a sense of contemporary framework meeting Persian art and architecture.

My artistic vision enables me to study, explore, create, and connect to my background culture as well as the culture that I chose to live in. This journey does not only contribute towards deepening my knowledge about myself and my roots, but it also promotes my connection to the outer world. My aim is to create work that features the connection of the two realms, and I strive for further exploring the techniques clay can be manipulated to manifest this connection.


Azadeh Mehryar is an Iranian born and raised interdisciplinary artist with a key focus on ceramics, based in Vancouver. Inspired by historical artifacts and through juxtaposition of the contemporary culture and Persian art, Azadeh creates work that explores cultural hybridity. With regard to the geometry that is present in the Persian art and her personal experience of living in diaspora, her work seeks to navigate a realm in which the two cultures cross paths; the realm that informs her cultural identity and provides a sense of continuity through her past and present in response to her diasporic experience.

Azadeh’s initial undergraduate studies are in computer sciences; however, the passion to create tactile art directed her to the art world in 2018 by registering to an art program at Langara college followed by a transfer to Emily Carr university in 2020 to fulfill her long-time dream of art making. Azadeh has recently graduated with a BFA in May 2023, winning the 2023 honourable mention of the Landon Mackenzie Graduation Award for Visual Arts. Azadeh is also a proud recipient of the Governor General’s Silver Medal for the highest academic achievement in bachelor’s degree program in May 2023 as well as the Northwest Ceramics Foundation and Brissenden scholarships in 2021. Azadeh has attended the Deer Lake artist residency at the Shadbolt Center in Burnaby, BC over the summer 2023 as well as the Medalta Artist Residency in Medicine Hat, AB in October 2023.