Photography for Firstsite - Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile

October 26, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

In September I had the privilege of photographing the opening event for Firstsite's special year-long exhibition by Iranian rug maker, Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile.

 

Opening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester, showing a person in a patterned headscarf and top in front of a handmade rug depicting experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, hanging on a burgundy wall.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

 

"Currently seeking asylum in the UK, Mehdi draws attention to the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide through the traditional craft of Persian rug making. 

Art in Exile features three rugs made by Mehdi during his time as a refugee in Stockholm, Sweden.

The pain-staking method of making each piece is a metaphor for Mehdi’s journey to establish a new life far from his home in the city of Tabriz, one of the centres of the hand-made carpet industry in Iran." - Firstsite

 

It is an extremely powerful and moving exhibition, sharing a vital message about global migration through incredible craftsmanship. I highly recommend visiting if you are able.

 

Below are some photographs from the wonderful opening event, but visit Firstsite's website to find out more about the exhibition.


Photograph of the welcome area at Firstsite, with Michael Landy's 'Essex Man' installation standing above people gathered below, chatting, with artwork visible on the back wall and Julian Opie's blue car sculpture to the right of the frame.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of people in the Firstsite welcome area, taking food and drinks from a table at the bottom of the frame.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Detail of a plate of pastry treats on a round plate, with another plate half full of food visible in the background, with a patterned tablecloth.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of two people reading exhibition text on a green wall. The title in yellow at the top says 'Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile' and there is a map of Iran to the bottom right.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Opening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester, showing 6 people in front of a handmade rug depicting the Queen of Sweden, hanging on a burgundy wall.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian speaking with attendees of the opening event. His artwork is visible to the left of the frame, with a person looking at it.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of two people looking at a framed artwork to the left of the frame.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian speaking to attendees of the opening of 'Art in Exile' in the Mosaic Gallery at Firstsite, with green walls.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian and his translator speaking to attendees of the opening of 'Art in Exile' in the Mosaic Gallery at Firstsite, with green walls.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of performers at the 'Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile' opening event  at Firstsite, in the café.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of performers at the 'Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile' opening event  at Firstsite, in the café. A performer to the right of the frame holds a sign saying 'KHOSH NA BA SHAD'.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Photograph of people sitting and talking at brightly coloured table and chairs in Firstsite's café.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

Opening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester, showing four people in front of a handmade rug depicting experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, hanging on a burgundy wall.Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at FirstsiteOpening night of Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile at Firstsite, Colchester. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.

 

Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile is open until Sunday 6 September 2023 at Firstsite.

Firstsite

Lewis Gardens, High Street, 
Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH

Website: firstsite.uk
Telephone: 01206 713 700
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: Exhibitions, cafe and shop open daily 10am - 5pm.
Cinema screenings & scheduled events continue into the evenings.
 

 


 

Hi, I'm Jayne Lloyd, a professional photographer based in Essex. If you would like to speak to me about working together please don't hesitate to get in touch


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