Elham Eshraghian was awarded the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize in 2018.
This year the Schenberg Art Fellowship was judged by director of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) Amy Barrett-Lennard, Ted Snell, Chief Cultural Officer of UWA Cultural Precinct, and executive editor of Artlink magazine Eve Sullivan.
“Drawing from her Iranian Baha’i heritage, Elham successfully combined personal narrative with a broader perspective of world history and politics,” the judges said.
(L-R) Amy Barrett-Lennard, Elham Eshraghian, Ted Snell and Eve Sullivan. Photo by Giovanni Costi.
Elham Eshraghian is an Australian–Iranian Bahá’í Artist specialising in film and video installations. Exploring the concept of cultural identity and loss, her aim is to create an affective poetic space.
By combining the historical narrative with evocative symbolism, she addresses the Iranian diaspora and the emotional impacts of displacement and conflict. Born and living in Perth, Eshraghian has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) at the University of Western Australia in 2017 and was awarded the Jean Callander Art Award. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Fine Arts and is part of a 6 week Artist Residency at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in correlation with the 2018 Hatched Exhibition.
Bohrân is part documentary, part visual poetry that explores Eshraghians mothers’ persecution and escape from Iran as a result of the 1979 Revolution. Eshraghian explores the deeper discourse surrounding the Middle Eastern unrest and the tense and fragile relationship with the West. Her work particularly invites answers to questions, “How can we, through unity, create a complex and diverse whole?” In cinematic scale, the choreographed narrative and pixelated archival and found footage communicates the relationship between the embodied personal experience of her family and the collective historical memory of the Iranian diaspora - inviting an empathetic understanding of people engulfed in turbulence across the globe.
Elham Eshraghian, Bohrân, 2017, two-channel video installation. Credit: (performer) Arman Zamani.