|Singing Before The Tower of Bable
By Frank Barry
The paintings of Guity Novin are steeped in ancient tradition. They whisper to us as the wind whispers by the sea at midnight. In harmony they sing to us as all birds sang before the Tower of Bable. We did not heed them there. Their language we have now all but forgotten, though it returns to us in dreams and passions. The philosophical underpinning of her work is the pantheistic vision of the Sufi mystics, the intense experience of the divine of the human and of human emotion in this cosmos. It is home from which we in the West have long ago strayed. We have built our concrete structures in the wilderness but by night strange fires glow in the distance. Her vision will be familiar to all who feel the inadequacies of the Hellenic paradigm.
'`The atoms of Democritus
And Newton's Particles of light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore.'
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright'
Ms. Novin uses the natural colours of her native Persian landscape - the turquoise of the mosques, the bright blue of the skies, the Indian brown of the old clay cities. She paints with materials distilled from the local sulphur and clay and from the blue and black dust dredged from the mines, in continuation of a tradition twenty-five hundred years old. Her techniques too have ancient roots. The influence of the Persian rug makers is obvious, as is that of the craftsmen who construct the mosaics that decorate the mosques. She has adapted to painting the craft of `Khatam' the most famous example of which is the Peacock Throne. In the traditional craft interweaving patterns are made by the painstaking process of arranging and embedding tiny pieces of ivory and coloured stones. Ms. Novin offers a synthesis of these ancient techniques and the influence the School of Paris.
Since graduating from the College of decorative Arts in Teheran in 1970 Ms. Novin has given one-artist exhibitions in Iran, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and has participated in several group exhibitions in these countries and in France. Her earliest shows, inspired by the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam, and other Persian poets were `Expression of Silence' at Negar Gallery , and `Posthumous' at Sayhoon Gallery . In `Song of Dervishes' at Sayhoon Gallery [1975,] she began to explore the realm of Sufism and the Eastern parables, and continued to use these as a vehicle for her art in a 1978 exhibition in Nordeinde Gallery in the Netherlands, a 1979 show in Didsbury in Manchester, and a 1979 group exhibition at the National Theater in London, England. Her main exhibitions in Canadian Galleries has been `Lost Serenades' at The Brock Street Gallery, in Kingston , `Meditation' atTrillium Gallery in Ottawa , `Byzantium's Dreams' at Christopher Hughes Gallery in Toronto, 1983. Ms. Novin also works in pottery, animation and graphics. She currently resides with her family in Ottawa, and exhibits her works at Artex Gallery in the Byward Market of Ottawa.