In the corner of the mind of every Iranian, there is a garden.
Arthur Upham Pope (1881–1969), American expert on Iranian art
Near and Far is a series of photo collages by Hamed Noori and Gohar Dashti. Using geometric patterns common in Islamic art and architecture from the Middle East and North Africa as inspiration, Noori and Dashti collage together original photographs of both Iranian and American landscapes.
Traditionally western art depicts nature as a landscape; the horizon line is critical. With the advent of photography, time became an added element–the capture of a place in a single moment from a single human perspective. The traditions of the Persian miniature, in contrast, uses a flattened perspective devoid of shadows, sunrises or sunsets to allow audiences access to all angles, places and time in one viewpoint. Building off the eastern philosophy of the cyclical nature of the world, this tradition is less about describing an individual’s momentary perspective of the environment and more about expressing eternity.
As a project, “Near and Far” takes the Western traditions of nature photography and applies a Persian approach of perspective and geometry. The results are intricate photo collages that combine the two philosophies and create a visual dialog between the nature of two cultures while presenting new fantastical and poetic interpretations of what a landscape can be.