We are two female artists, Hadieh Afshani (Iran) and Shirley Siegal (Israel) who met at the “Show Your World” exhibition in New York City. Our paintings were placed next to each other at the exhibition, showing that art has no boundaries despite the long-lasting conflict among countries in the Middle East. We became friends and decided to start a project to set up a peaceful dialogue between our cultures and beyond.
We are sure that women’s voice is not heard enough in the Middle East. Social equality of men and women leaves much to be desired, and a female opinion is not yet loud in discussing and fixing social and political problem which are not just ‘middle-eastern’ any more: ISIS and Taliban became a threat to the whole world.
Our installation “The First Supper” is an invitation for all of you to sit down at the round table and talk. The dinner table is a centerpiece of our installation. All objects – plates, mugs, cutlery -were painted: we portrayed many women who inspired us in various ways; we also depicted magnificent historic treasures which were destroyed by ISIS or Taliban. Therefore, this installation serves as an educational piece – get to know cultures, people, places, issues.
We created the elements for the installation “The First Supper” on two continents: in Israel (where Shirley Siegal lives) and in the USA (where Hadieh Afshani has recently moved). We’re communicating via skype and phone, sharing project updates and chatting – we see each other’s homes and sometimes participate, virtually, in each other dinners!
The installation was exhibited by RE:ARTISTE International Art Organization at Gallery MC, New York, in November 2016. Our next stop is Toronto: Feminist Art Conference, January 2017.
- Shirley Siegal, artist
- Hadieh Afshani, artist
- Natalie Burlutskaya, curator
- Zafreen Mahfooz, PR coordinator
- Kate Goltseva, graphic designer
- Larissa Nowak, photographer
- Vocal: Orchideh
- Guitar Bass: Arin Keshishi
- Violin: Farokh Etemadi
- Guitar: Mohamad Afshani
- Mix & Mastering: Shervin Radfar
- Mimmi Monell (Norway)
- Sigal Buria (Israel)
- Sharon Almougy (Israel)
- Naama Barak (Israel)