Mahtab Grimshaw

She was born on an Autumn night in the North of Iran only a few months
before the Islamic revolution and less than a year before the start of the
Iran-Iraq war.
graduated with a 1st class (B.A.) degree in Puppetry Theatre from the
Division of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, followed by a 1st class (M.A.)
degree in Drama & Literature.
have worked in Iran as a theatre director, playwright, puppet maker, and
stage designer since 2000
For the past 15 years, she has focused on working with textile and paper
clay; trying to alleviate anxiety, stress, and homesickness by sculpting
clay women who she believes carry her feelings and emotions.
currently a producer and panelist in the talk show “SamteNo” for Manoto
TV. For the past three years based on contacts by Iranian women,
hearing their stories of struggle, attempting to translate this into visual art
using clay and vintage lace.

“I mix the extract of what happened to me and the women of my
motherland – from revolution, war, and patriarchy to immigration – with
clay, fresh sprouts, antique laces, and sometimes pearls and stones, to
decorate my clay girls’ wounded bodies and celebrate their healing;
just as Rumi says: The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
They aren’t much taller than one foot and have no limbs, but their
feminine curves, cracked skin, and the empty space in their body tell you
about their different stories with mutual pains. I call them “the patient
dolls” or a shoulder to cry on, coming from an old Persian tale about
everyone needs to have someone with whom they can share secrets,
sufferings and sadnesses, to avoid dying of sorrow.
I started creating them when I was drowning in depression and every
time one of these girls was born, she tore a part of the black mist inside
me and brought it out. So I believe as much as they owe me their being,
I owe them mine”