Four Artists Reflect on “Impermanence”

Self-Portrait, Kauai. Photo by Don Holtz

Art is a somewhat permanent record of the impermanent world, capturing and translating what will soon change or disappear. Emotions, people, places, culture—all change in the next second, leaving the artwork as the only witness to the moment that was.

A new four-artist show at the Topanga Canyon Gallery interprets the theme of impermanence. While the four artists share a vision of the impermanence of everything,, how they communicate the preciousness of each moment is entirely individual.

Iranian-born artist Farideh Azad explores the vibrancy of color and the precision of the ancient works of Iran. Created in ceramics, Azad’s “Rhyton” or the winged lion, is the mythical creature that was used in many forms, such as drinking vessels, or as bas-relief in Persepolis and other historical locations.

Raised in a family of artists and mathematicians, she was drawn to, and excelled in both mediums. She chose to study interior design. Years ago, while taking some continuing education courses at Santa Monica College, Farideh discovered glass blowing. The show features her spectacular piece “Glass Flower.”

Roya Adjory was also born in Iran. Her first-hand experience with change came when her parents sent her from their home in Rezayieh, former name for Urumieh, Iran, to the United States for college, as they became aware of the pending revolution in Iran. Adjory creates “Transformative art  intended to heal and affect the body, mind, and the spirit of the viewer through the experience of art itself,” she says.

In the show, Roya has included a painting called “Passing,” painted after her father’s death.. Adorned with little squares to represent Tibetan prayer flags, this painting signifies transition from one thing to another. “We are all guests on this earth and we live life in the illusion of permanence,” she says.

As a photographer Don Holtz is tuned into the fact that each moment is different, sometimes in a grand manner, sometimes imperceptibly.  

“Impermanence is an inescapable part of life,” Holz says. “Relationships with family and friends change, seasons and environments change, and I see the slow, thoughtful pace at which our Topanga is changing. The constant stream of information, opinion, and deadlines often overwhelm my senses. “This is where photography allows me to exist calmly within that impermanence. It helps me find beauty in chaos and the impermanent quality of life.”.”

“Knowing that these are fleeting moments perhaps gives our lives more sense of urgency to live it fully,” says artist Rea Nagel, who is vibrant and active at 85. She has the advantage that a long healthy life gives of viewing objects and ideas from a variety of perspectives. One of her works on display is “Dominate,” started at Pinnacles National Park and  finished in her studio, allowing her to provide an interpretation of the image that attracted her.  

“Impermanence” is a feast for the eyes and the emotions, vibrant, dynamic, and stimulating in color and sentiment. Each of the four artists shows a collection of their work that draws the viewer in with color and holds their gaze with depth and nuance. And, it is, of course, impermanent.

“Impermanence” runs through November 28 at Topanga Canyon Gallery, 120 N Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290. Join the artists at the opening reception for the show, November 10, 4-7 p.m.

Hours: Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday 12-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

~By Kate Kinkaid & Sari Scheer

Roya Adjory


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