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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Saeid Zabeti Targhi

My interdisciplinary practice encompasses paintings, sculptures, poetry, and performance, often travelling between different artistic mediums within a single piece of work. My personal experience of trauma, mental health problems and recovery from addiction together with years of volunteering alongside addicts have provided me with an authentic foundation to explore and communicate the complexities of the human experience that lies at its core.

I studied Fine art at the Hampstead school of art before being accepted onto the Graduate Diploma Programme at the RCA where I gained a distinction.

Close up of a broken mirror which has had the mirror element scrubbed off and replaced by red and black paint.

I see materials as having emotions and I use this to guide the vocabulary of my work. Combined with my use of discarded items I create the metaphorical story of reconstruction and new meaning through the rehabilitation of the material and artefact.  


I aim to capture the forgotten history of discarded artefacts that once had purpose and identity. This narrative can have multiple representations. Items are often deconstructed further, providing symbolic references for the viewer. Found mirrors contain the memories and history of their past life once broken and painted the materiality and emotional experience of deconstruction moves to the forefront of my work.

The understanding of mental health problems including addiction is still at an embryonic stage. The vocabulary of this experience is slowly becoming part of our lexicon. I hope to add a further layer of understanding by creating pieces that portray the emotional experience at the heart of these labels. In doing so I wish to bridge the gap between the sufferer and society. 

Under the currents

All the pieces starting with the title ‘Under the currents’ were created for my final show exhibition.

My inspiration for ‘under the currents’ came from the river Thames and the poetic materiality it holds within it. Walking along the banks at low tide its physical and spiritual presence took me to a place of reflection and contemplation. A living breathing entity the rivers materiality transcends its physical form.

Washed up on the shores peoples forgotten history would reveal itself in the form of discarded items.

Transformed by the passage of time I collected these artefacts and their stories to create the narrative for my work, reconstruction, and new meaning through the rehabilitation of the discarded. Not all discarded items stay within societies parameters and care some drift for decades lost.

The painterly aspects capture the subtle beauty of the dirt and its textures. I bridged the gap from found object to paint by using rust and soil to enhance the depth of colour. 

Abstract painting of the Thames river and its hypnotic beauty.
Painting materials: Found timber wheel and rope from the Thames, Found broken mirror, acrylic paint, copper rust, metal rust, soil, pieces of rusted metal.
Video of painting. I am sorry you cant view this take care.
Launch Project
rusted found wheel from the Thames on a mirror.
Rope on mirror.
Rope with broken mirror.

Medium:

Painting

Size:

Width: 88cm, Depth: 5cm, Height: 120cm.
Lead bar in bricks leaning against a textural painting made of soil and paint.
Painting Materials: Found mirror, soil, copper rust, glue, acrylic paint. Sculpture materials: Found items from the Thames lead bar, bricks, rusted copper.
A lead bar leans against a painting of a barley visible man.
Close up of the texture of the painting made up of rust and paint.

Medium:

Painting/Sculpture

Size:

Height: 209cm, Width: 88cm, Depth: 30cm.
Translucent white and blue paint mixed with soil sits on a mirror canvas a ladies face is painted on a torn towel.
Materials: Found mirror, soil, Wills Towel, shards of cement, transparent paper and ink, acrylic paint and plastic bag.
Thread and plastic bag close up.
Painting of a ladies face blended into a piece of an old towel cement shards dispersed below this.
Shards of cement stuck to a light blue background. Soil is dispersed around the shards.
Pieces of a torn towel mixed with soil on a glass background. Translucent light blue paint sits on the base
Ladies face painted on plastic bag hanging from an old towel.
Launch Project
Video of the painting.

Medium:

Painting

Size:

Width: 80cm, Depth: 1cm, Height: 120cm
Car light sitting on entwined metal pages from a book with cement mixed in.
Materials: Found Car light with additional process to create cracking, section of bed frame with small fabric sections, found metal from the Thames, Pages with cement, ash, shells, Broken pottery from the Thames and sand.
Close up of a deconstructed car light.
Burnt pages close up showing shells and pottery.
Bed springs from mattress with piece of found metal from the Thames.
Close up of bed section with fabric.
video of sculpture. I'm sorry you can not see it.
Launch Project

Medium:

Sculpture

Size:

Width: 50cm, Depth: 40cm, Height: 116cm.
Words to the poem.
A large rock with a rope tied around it is buried in the sand and pebbles on the banks of the Thames.
A fox looks up at me on the banks of Thames behind it is its sibling playing in the rocks.
Trust takes time and kindness
The poem is about breaking the chains of generational trauma.

Medium:

Video and Poetry

Size:

48 seconds

The original audio for this piece was a recording I made of my voice and breathing whilst experiencing a high degree of physical pain. It captures my desire to minimise this pain through sound and breath. I used a custom voice instrument known as Holly Plus to deconstruct the reality of the recording whilst maintaining the truth of the experience. 


The user can upload any polyphonic sound which is then sung back to them in the voice of Holly Herndon using AI.


The video was shot and edited on my I phone.

Medium:

Video

Size:

40 seconds.
Two broken mirrors painted on hanging either side of a length of rebar. Base is cement and twisted rebar.
Materials: Found rebar and mirror, acrylic paint, cement.
Tip of a broken mirror.
Mirror hanging from a piece of rebar hung by rusted bronze wire.
Mirror hanging from rebar.

Medium:

Sculpture

Size:

Height: 305cm, Width: 260cm, Depth: 125cm