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A Note on Maryam Mohry's Exhibition: "Wandering in the Dark" 

Author : Rojin Dastbaz

Reading Time : 3 minutes

Maryam Mohry ran her second solo show titled "Wandering in the Dark" at O Gallery. Artworks displayed in this exhibition have been created over the last two and a half years. It has been mentioned in the exhibition's catalog that all exhibited artworks have been produced during the time that she had to live and work in her apartment while suffering anxiety and fear of the worldwide pandemic. Naturally, fear and anxiety interrupt normal functions of the mind and prevent creativity, but that is not the case in the works shown here. It seems that her imagination has freely gone through the endless path of creativity and has also engaged with various subjects. In this review, I will walk into the artist's imaginary world and wander around along with the creatures inside it.  


Maryam Mohry | We Are Flying | 2021 | watercolor on paper | 156 × 106 cm

Connections play a vital role in Maryam Mohry's artworks. Once the viewer looks at a work, they figure connections with humorous, violent, or threatening moods. In her world, an equal attitude is visible towards humans and other creatures, and there is no sign of human superiority. This is what stands against conventional beliefs in society and creates paradoxical situations. Here, humans have no power over other beings. Rather, power is entrusted to bears, while humans and horses are suspended in the air because of their wickedness.  

The other innovative paradoxical situation in her painting titled "We Are Flying" is its unusual replacements of roles. Normally, we see humans playing with animal-shaped devices and riding in amusement parks, but here both humans and horses are on the Ferris wheel and bears are its operators.  

Artist's precision in controlling watercolor spread on the paper has resulted in the delicate appearance of lines, which is one of the most prominent features of her paintings; especially in artworks with huge dimensions in which she confidently managed to paint each element in a proper position within the frame.  

In most of her works in this show, Mohry has created a narrative and chose their titles accordingly. Although in most of her works she has improved the narrating aspect by wisely choosing their titles, in others, like the one below, she has pictured an account as a triptych.  


Maryam Mohry | You Happy with Us | 2021 | watercolor on paper | 23 × 73.5 cm


In this painting, some lazy guys are insistingly sticking to a human's body while the title reads "You Happy with Us?". Of course, looking at the painting, the answer is somehow clear. These lazy guys have finally caused the helpless human body to get ripped apart. Her paintings may in some ways be concerned with psychological and philosophical matters that make her works relevant to issues of daily life. Some things can be really pleasant to us in their proper amount, but they excessively occupy the mind and will eventually lead to complete human exhaustion. This is a gentle and intimate presentation of affection, gradually turning into dependency, while at the same time showing human pains and struggles.