Iranian woodcarver Saeed Arzegan has been honored at Australia’s Garland for his work named “Love Whisper”, which took 320 hours to be completed using 590 pieces of wood.
“Our May laurel goes to an Iranian artist [Saeed Arzegan] who reflects his culture’s mastery of wood inlay and crafts a story about standing up for the victimized,” Garland wrote on its website on May 2.
According to Garland, Arzegan traveled around Iran to find colorful woods including ebony wood, barberry, rosewood, oak, boxwood, acacia, sumac, orange, pistachio, Persian olive or Senjed, maple, Caucasian elm, apricot, yew, walnut, Persian silk tree, mangroves, grey mangrove, medlar, jujube, alder, carob tree, mesquite and Alborz oak.
The pieces of wood have been collected from the regions of Bandar Abbas, Minab, Qeshm, Jask and Chabahar in the south, Hyrcanian Forests of north and northwest of the country and also from Birjand, Ferdows, Nayband, Kerman in the east as well as Saqez, Marivan and Avramanat in the west.
At the age of 17, Arzegan visited a wood carving (monabbat) exhibition of the master Abdolhamid Edalat-e Shiraz and was so inspired that he asked to become an apprentice. While learning the traditional skills, Arzegan was eager to experiment with new techniques. The particular technique of moarragh involves creating paintings from wood inlay.
Garland is a platform for thoughtful writing about beautiful objects made today across the Indo-Pacific. Launched in 2015, Garland is established by the World Crafts Council – Australia, a national entity of the World Crafts Council – Asia Pacific.
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