artist and educator
Rojia Dadashzadeh is an Iranian/Canadian artist who carries a studio-based practice in Vancouver on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, along with her decade long practice as an educator in an IB school. Dadashzadeh works across a range of media including sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, collage and public art. Dadashzadeh recalls spending most of her formative years as a child in her grandmother's magical backyard in Iran, where ordinary rituals she took part in with her grandmother were made extraordinary and where her imagination was routinely exercised in making friends with plants, dirt, water, and earthy creatures.
Her work is a playful and intricate arrangement of organic and geometric forms, colours, and lines that at once resists totalization while eliciting personal narratives and referencing places from the past and present. With hints of minimal abstraction and playful gestures, the work remarks Dadashzadeh’s childhood imagination amidst growing up in a war zone and honors imagination as the prevailing human force through darkness and towards delight and hope. For Dadashzadeh delight is an aesthetic experience that can be exercised through engaging with art. During her clowning practice under the pedagogy of Richard Pochinko, Dadashzadeh was acquainted with the notion of delight as a willingness to play with that which is present and that which has the potential to create.
Through her almost reductive-like process, Dadashzadeh creates imaginative spaces that at their core carry and elicit childlike delight and lightness. Culled from daily living and childhood experiences, her work is a highly imaginative visual journey that chronicles the connection between the past and present: a bricolage of vibrant and distorted snippets of unidentified characters, contraptions and settings.
Dadashzadeh’s work has been published in various media outlets such as Preview magazine, Vancouver Sun, Ellele and Georgia Straight, Her 2019 exhibition on Displacement, a 60 puppet collaborative installation, was published on the cover of the Georgia Straight and The City Without Art?. In 2019 She presented at the INSEA 2019 world congress in art education at UBC. Her teaching and artistic practice are closely intertwined in ways that one is informative of the other. Dadashzadeh is currently completing her Masters in art education at UBC.