On the Couch with Hossein Valamanesh


Hossein Valamanesh_oncWho is Hossein Valamanesh?
I’m still to work that out!

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would like to have been an architect.

Who inspires you and why?
There are many I could mention but Leonard Cohen for his voice and poetry is one of them. And Rumi.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think art makes a small, positive difference to the way people look at the world and that’s all I can do.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Coffin Bay in South Australia. Wonderful oysters at their source!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I’ll take them to Adelaide Central Market, off Victoria Square. It’s one of the best markets I’ve ever visited worldwide, great coffee, produce and more.

What are you currently reading?
The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat.

What are you currently listening to?
Rachid Taha, Rock the Casbah!

Happiness is?
Being in love!

What does the future hold for you?
That’s a hard one but I hope to be able to continue with my passion of making art.

Hossein Valamanesh was born in Iran in 1949 and graduated from the School of Fine Art in Tehran in 1970. He immigrated to Australia in 1973 arriving in Perth. In 1974 he travelled to central Australia where he worked with Aboriginal children. He graduated from the South Australian School of Art in 1977.

He has exhibited in Australia and overseas including Germany, Poland, Japan and Finland and has completed a number of major public art commissions. His collaborations with Angela Valamanesh include An Gorta Mor – memorial to the Great Irish Famine, 1999, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney; 14 Pieces on North Terrace, Adelaide and in 2011, completed Ginkgo Gate – a new western entrance to the Botanic Gardens, Adelaide.

Hossein has received numerous awards including the Australia Council Residency in Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 1991, and an Australia Council Fellowship in 1998.  His work is included in most major public Australian art collections. A major survey of his work was held at the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

In collaboration with Brink Productions, Andrew Bovell and Quentin Grant he completed the stage design for When the Rain Stops Falling for the 2008 Adelaide Festival of Arts. A monograph of his work, titled Hossein Valamanesh, Out of nothingness, was published by Wakefield Press in 2011.

A number of selected works by Hossein Valamanesh will be on display in tandem with Vivienne Binns at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre from 19 July to 7 September. For more information, visit: www.casulapowerhouse.com for details.

Image: Hossein Valamanesh