In her meticulous installations, Roya Amigh employs mythical figures taken from the writings of Persian poets Ferdowsi, Rumi, and Hafez. Large numbers of tiny drawings, created by gluing thread onto paper, are then assembled together resulting in fragile structures that reflect the ephemeral quality of memories suspended in space. Roya Amigh explores how imagination and memory filter and resurrect the past. “In recreating imagery that pieces together elements of different legends depicted in Persian miniature, I am able to question the complexities in the stories of Iranian women," says the artist.
The artist grew up with Persian mythology recounted by her uncle. Persian storytelling does not follow a linear structure; it is based on stories passed down from one person to another, where fiction and truth merge. The line of narration can go on and on, inevitably creating stories within stories and fictions within fictions. Roya says, “Echoing the natural distortions of memory, I create my own version of this mythology in my practice, featuring stories that happened to me or to the women I know.”
From her complex, elaborate installations – whether small or the size of an entire room – whole armies of personages spill out and form complicated stories. Roya turns traditional miniature into clouds of maxi scrolls that resemble sets for a puppet theater, interweaving mythical beings and horrific events she witnessed or stories which were entrusted to her. In that sense, she uses threads as a continuation of writing her diary. In her earlier installations, the artist investigated the possibilities of creating an architectural frame for them, but the most recent works gain fully sculptural quality.
Amigh earned MFA degrees from the Central Azad University in Tehran, 2010, and Boston University, 2012. She had a solo show at the FiveMyles gallery in Brooklyn, NY, 2017. Amigh was included in group shows at the Katonah Museum of Art; Macy Gallery at Columbia University; Sloane House Gallery, Boston; and Sherman Gallery at Boston University, and was artist-in-residence at the Art Omi, Ghent, NY, Vermont Studio Center, and MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.