Bita Ghezelayagh, from the series Felt Memories, 2009 (via). The embroidery on the first and third cloaks says “Martyrdom is the key to paradise,” and the embroidery on the last cloak says “Are bullets the answers to flowers?”
“For Felt Memories, Ghezelayagh has worked with Iranian feltmakers – who traditionally make clothing, tents and carpets – to create a collection of decorative costumes that combine talismanic symbols, silk-screen printing and embroidery. For Ghezelayagh, felt embodied qualities such as simplicity, heft and resilience. It also connected past and present, and preserves one of many traditions that she believes are being lost in contemporary Iran. Travelling around the country also brought back memories of her childhood, during which she experienced both the Iranian Revolution (1979) and the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). Official and non-official symbols and slogans, many of which are well known from graffiti on the walls of Tehran, are stitched and screen-printed onto the artworks. Slogans about resistance, protection and martyrdom, such as “From the blood of the young, tulips blossom” are, for Ghezelayagh, as personal as they are political, capturing particular moments from her past. They bring back memories of many things, including her grandmother, who taught her embroidery. Tulips and keys (symbols of martyrdom), and crowns (symbols of pre-revolutionary Iran) are cut out in brass and sewn onto the garments. In other works,Ghezelayagh uses images of the renowned Iran-Iraq war hero Hossein Kharazi printed onto metal tags. These are combined with Persian phrases such as “Martyrdom is the Key to Paradise” and the names of military campaigns or the wills of war heroes.” — Juliet Cestar, source.