Iranian fiber artist Maryam Ashkanian is wowing us with her creative series of embroidered sculptures. Her ongoing series Sleep sees her embroidering sleeping people onto the surface of handmade pillows. The effect is both surreal and magical, as she captures the surprisingly large range of ways in which people rest their heads.
From calm and serene to fitful and restless, each piece portrays the emotions of people at rest. The series is a way to look at dreams in order to enter into a broader universe. “Images of us in dreams are revealed in the right truest evidence; an original icon which introduces us to the peripheral world wildly,” shares the artist.
With an academic background in painting, Ashkanian brings a painterly touch to the work. With the embroidery thread acting as brushstrokes, there is a frenetic energy to each piece. Her works begin with preparatory sketches, which act as a base for her to layer upon. By using textiles, she's able to give the art a dynamic, sculptural form she was not able to achieve through the oil painting she worked with initially.