Something from Nothing - Dialogue with Hossein Valamanesh
HV These are small collages made from Cronus, a thorn like plant. I found it in Switzerland in 2001 and I carried them around and dried them, then embedded them in wax. It's this idea of the real and movement: they're pure visual intrigue. Giving some sort of order to something that has inherent order in it but appears to be chaotic - like nature is.
Art is about lots of play and having fun. I did a whole series of leaves and sticks. It's the pure joy of playing with shapes… and you don't have to make sense of it as it were. I do take art seriously but at the same time it's not that serious. It's life. You don't have to go about being philosophical about everything. It doesn't have to be about art either.
CK Why did you first move to Australia?
HV Madness. Love. I was in love with a young Iranian girl. She immigrated to Australia, and then things didn't work out after a couple a months. I was young enough to be able to take it, but that led me to stay here.
Meanwhile I was working as a gardner in King's Park in Perth. And then I spent three and a half months in central Australia with six different Aboriginal communities. It was a real eye opener. However on the way back, I came to Adelaide. In Perth I couldn't go to art school. Adelaide was a different thing. I was accepted there for Painting second year; met Angela the year after... and the rest is history.
I always say, you have to follow your love - even if it doesn't work out. Even if you say you want to paint and but you think, 'I'm not so good…' You're not sure you're not going to make it... But you have to do it. At least you have tried. Love is like that. You're not that wise, you're not sure if it's going to work…. you don't know.
It was the right place for me to come. It's was amazing. I love the landscape in Australia. The people. Australia's been great to me. You have the space to breath. Australia is really good like that. Even though London is great after a week or two I want to go back home.
CK Do you find you miss Australia?
HV Yeah, after awhile you get tired. Home is like a nest in a way. You get on with work. Holiday is one thing, but the anxiety of travel is quite tiring. You have to travel to show your work and meet people.
It's earth. You have a connection, we can be a part of that land.