Sia Yazdanfar: Restless Anahita and No Friends but the Mountains

May 6, 2024

Dates: July 10th through August 5th
Type: Gallery Exhibit
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 9 pm, Saturday: 10 am– 5 pm

Opening Event: July 12th, 2nd Friday ArtWalk at The ArtsCenter from 6 to 8:30 pm

Introducing Sia Yazdanfar, a photographer whose lens captures the essence of cultures bridging continents. With roots in Iran and a global upbringing, Yazdanfar’s work reflects a journey of reconnection and exploration. Through annual expeditions back to Iran since 2017, Yazdanfar delves into the lesser-known corners of the country, seeking out its traditional worlds and timeless traditions. With an eye for storytelling, Yazdanfar brings these tales to life through immersive exhibitions and art talks, offering viewers a glimpse into ancient civilizations and distant locales. Join us from July 12th to August 6th at the ArtsCenter for an unforgettable experience featuring Yazdanfar’s exhibits, “Restless Anahita” and “No Friends but the Mountains.

Artist’s Statement

I am an itinerant photographer, born & raised in Iran, with extended time throughout my formative years spent in Spain, Pakistan, & Nigeria. I resided in the United States for the majority of my adult life. A few years ago I went back to my motherland to reconnect with my roots & explore the timeless traditions & trades of different regions in the country. My focus since first returning to Iran in 2017 has been to bridge a gap between the two cultures that have formed me. With each annual series of photographic expeditions, I seek out under-explored & less revealed people & places of the country. As I continue this journey, my work has increasingly been dedicated to traditional worlds in outlying villages & off the beaten path settlements. I am fortunate to be in a fairly unique position, able to travel relatively freely between that & this side of our planet. With no language barrier & open to tearing down cultural ones, I use the medium of photographic storytelling to share some of these tales with my audience at exhibitions, art talks, & other programs. Iran provides an endless treasure trove of subjects which I have yet to draw from, & sights that have seldom been captured by outsiders, if at all. A country with over 6000 years of history has countless stories to tell.

Through the immersive photographic storytelling style of my exhibitions & associated events, I seek to share with the viewer the many layers that comprise this ancient civilization. Despite the influx of modernization, certain ways of life continue as they have for centuries, if not longer. In my path as a visual artist, I am attempting to inform my audience of a sense of place in far-flung locales which they may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience.

Sia Yazdanfar

2021-2022 Artist Project Grant for Photography
Orange County Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council
2022-2023 Artist Project Grant for Photography
Orange County Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council
2022-2023 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant for Photography
Durham Arts Council, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Kelley Katzenmeyer Fund
2023-2024 Artist Project Grant for Photography
Orange County Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council