Kimia Amini, Iranian artist based in London, England.
“Interview of the current artist of Art’s Birthplace – Athina 2020”
How and when did you start dealing with Art systematically? My first sketchbook was put together by my mother when I was 2 or 3 years old. I still have it and it’s my best work to date. I have pursued art in every level of education, and after graduating from Chelsea College of Art in 2018 I began pursuing my professional career in the arts. I am a visual artist working in many mediums, but post graduation is when I really formulated my practise.
Is one born or made an artist? Everyone is born an artist. You are born with a unique vision of the world, and through your unique perspective you chop up the world and reproduce it. Each person has a story to tell, and each contribution to the world is in itself an art. As I said, my best sketchbook is definitely that of my early childhood. My mother collected all the individual scribbles on loose bits of paper, would stick them in a book and ask me to tell her the story behind each drawing which she carefully documented. There was strong intent to every line, as if each seemingly accidental mark had its own consciousness. Children are the seers of magic in this world, and one should maintain that profound naivety in later chapters of life.
In which current or movement would you include your works? If theres any category or movement, I would have to say Outsider Art, with traces of Folklore. Although having received an education in the arts, I always ended up producing something outside of the field of study. When I was studying Art I was producing music with visual accompaniment. When I was completing my degree in Textiles, I was producing avant garde films and experimental performance art/ theatre pieces. It wasn’t an intentional choice to always work outside the box, but my interests and intrigue always led me to new mediums and materials to explore, and if I felt a calling then I would pursue it. I can confidently say that I have always approached each medium with an exploratory and DIY attitude, meaning I always had to work it out for myself. This leads me to choose the category of Outsider Art.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Experiences. My work has always been a diary. They are personal, sometimes geographical, specific to the surroundings and situations. My work is a method of storytelling, and those personal realisations that are completely universal are the ones which I tend to pursue and depict in my work.
Are there celebrities or other artists who have influenced your work? There are a few worth mentioning. I consider the following to be mentors rather than influencers. It’s integrity, and pure depictions of the soul that attract me to works or artists. The composer and film maker Meredith Monk was my main inspiration throughout my university degree. I made many short films with accompanying soundtrack, trying to experiment in making my own reality. Alejandro Jodorowsky is also a massive influence, his films are truly his unique and surreal depiction of life, and a complete universe for the audience to dive into. Lastly, a sculptor by the name of Alikhan Abdollahi, who is based in Tehran – Iran. He is prolific in his output, and the most humble artist I have ever met. He is an influence to me based on his perseverance, passion and humanity.
What is the biggest challenge you have set for yourself as an artist? To pursue sustainability. I work hard to research and constantly rework my process. I want to live and die with peace of mind, that I brought beauty into this world, made connections with others but I do not want to harm the environment selfishly in doing this. >From 2020 I reworked my entire process of mask making so that it is all sustainable materials and the work is even biodegradable. This is a massive achievement and success for me as an artist.
How acceptable is Art in Greece today and what role is it called to play in public? The land is filled with the art of the ancients, and the ground is fertile. The place and people are so alive, so although I do not know of many contemporary artists, I must say that the communities are so rich that I know there is much that is about to blossom.
What are your future plans? To continue my pursuit of method and process with sustainability. I wish to educate myself further in pigments so that both my masks and my paintings can be made of sustainable materials. Currently I am working on a 22 mask collection called ‘The Red Arcana’. Each mask is a personification of a card from the Major Arcana of Tarot. It is a deeply personal relationship I have with the Tarot, and more so – respect and awe. So through this collection I am educating myself further, and soon hope to share this art and knowledge with the world.