Ara Dolatian





My work examines the cultural and landscape shifts which have been a major influence on my work’s aesthetic and ideas. The sculptural forms are peculiar spherical objects with a planetary feel; they appear transitory, on the verge of collapse or reform. 


The utopian and dystopian ideas are inspired by literature and historical events; states that "Eurasia was an “uninterrupted landmass stretching from China to the Atlantic”. The theme of the utopia references the unnatural divisions between the Eastern cultures with their nomadic and spiritual tendencies and the West with its materialistic outlook (1). The work captures the utopian sentiment but also the pessimism associated with this process of colonial exchange. With the idea of progress having quickly decayed into a perverse ideal that has justified environmental destruction, imperial expansion and human exploitation, it seems appropriate to articulate this notion with forms that are equal parts familiar and unhomely. 


Some pieces contain enclosed ecosystems with living materials that may include flora, fauna, water or mist. They are reminiscent of the geographical delineation of nations, cities or suburbs where movement is contained or restricted. The installations represent an imaginative new place where the commodification of biological material, space and technology is visible. The materiality is simultaneously organic and inorganic; the categorisations between the two are denied and blurred and it’s been a deliberate ongoing strategy to reflect on multiplicities associated with materiality, culture and gender.  (2)


1. Rosenthal, Mark, (2005) Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments, The Menill Collection, Houston.

2.  Working from Gilles Deleuze’s and Félix Guattari’s influential texts, AntiOedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), a number of thinkers in this area conceive of the contemporary subject as ‘multiple’, ‘becoming’ and in a constant state of transformation through its encounters with otherness.

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the unceded land on which I live and work. I respectfully recognise Elders, both past and present.