Life is full of uncertainties and blessings in disguise. I have seeded many prayers in this last month as I have dived deep into the creation of my new art installation Seeds of Protection for a group show called “Re-member” curated by Nicole Barakat, due to open at the Fairfield City Museum and Gallery on 9 July 2022.
Each element of my work re-connects me to my maternal grandmother and the power of prayer. I have experienced a lot of health issues since mid May until now and how I even managed to create anything is itself a miracle. So many events have transpired in such a short time and observing what has been moving forward for me has offered great insight into the power of prayer.
The grand design of my life and the mystery of how it unfolds has been both a curious and frustrating journey. These past six months have shown me how the turbulence of life is making me stronger. Through each stormy phase emerges many rainbows. I noticed that when I think I’ve hit rock bottom an opportunity arrives, a new friend appears, money lands in my account, someone offering help knocks on my door, a conversation sparks creativity, it goes on.
My core belief is that “everything always works out for me”, and it really does. Bringing my focus to what is moving forward in my life has allowed me to be in the present moment and make decisions from where I am right now. The results have been amazing and surprisingly effortless.
Making this new artwork has been such a mirror to my life at the moment. From concept to creation this work has slipped in the cracks of so many challenges. Observing the resistance and the flow of making this work in amongst illness, children, work, floods, COVID, the list goes on. Little by little each element came together. My beautiful mother was my collaborator in this work offering yet another layer of connection and amazingness to the whole journey.
My installation “Seeds of Protection” evokes the power of ritual and prayer in daily life through the re-memberance of the practices of my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother. My mother shared a story with me from her childhood that has re-awakened within me the potent medicine that I carry through the epigenetics of the “seed” of the motherline. My Grandmother would bless each of her children using esfand (wild rue) on day 3 and day 5 of each week. She had her own invocation and process where she would take the seeds and place them in the fold of her children’s clothing and whisper her prayer of protection and then throw these seeds on coals. They would crackle and once the smudge would release she would pass this smoke over her children’s heads front and back. This was her way of casting a protective veil around her beloveds. I wanted to bring these aspects of the ritual into my daily life and re-claim the power of prayer, the power of intention and the power of a mother’s love for her children to endure in uncertain times.
The process of creating my work has drawn together a collaboration and shared storytelling between my mother and I. Each particle of the work is a prayer. It feels like a portal has opened up in the creation of this installation connecting me directly to my maternal grandmother and the parallels between her life story and mine. Issues of security, health, upheaval, grief, healing and resilience have surfaced with this work.
My mother crocheted an umbilical chord for the spiral representing the connection between the three generations, daughter, mother and grandmother. Each stitch carries a prayer and then woven together representing the red thread that binds us genetically as well as spiritually.
This practice of re-membrance of the power of prayer has invited true miracles and deeper connection in my life. This work has also drawn me deeper into investigating the role of esfand and salt in protective practices of my motherland. The seeds of esfand and the plant itself has many medicinal properties. I am fascinated with the ways in which these practices have survived and continue to be part of daily life in Iran as well has here in Australia.
Being present with what moves forward in my life opens space for so much more magick to weave these many seeded prayers. I can feel the power, protection and wisdom of my grandmothers and all grandmother healers around me. I feel their collective arms around me whispering “everything is working out for you beloved child”