Hoda Zarbaf

An Awkward Birth

An Awkward Birth

Throughout her creative career, being an artist experiencing life as a woman in different countries and cultures, Hoda Zarbaf has sought to make her very own narration of intimacy alongside solitude. Her work, in the past decade– although very different in forms of representations– has almost steadily been a reflection of the complexities of social, emotional, and gender identities. Displaying this womanly practice of deliverance and releasing – whether it is the act of child bearing or expressing pain and joy – has always been Hoda’s fascination about women. Above everything that happens in Zarbaf’s work, there is always (self)portrait of a woman enduringly exposed and in solitude. She creates the female figures in different roles or states of being; whether she’s vulgar, maternal or cartoonish, she is nevertheless engaged in a lively act of releasing. And this sacred act is what defines her and puts her in a position of reverence. Born in Tehran amid early years of the Islamic Revolution and war, Zarbaf’s imagination has been influenced by the age-old folktale of her childhood. These stories, in conjunction with her layered and one-off experiences, have formed a whimsical visual language that streams in her work. She received her BFA and MA in Animation from the University of Tehran. In 2008 she relocated to Canada to pursue an MFA from the University of Windsor. Over the years, her work has reflected the complexities of social, emotional, and gender identities. Zarbaf’s sculptural pieces are made intimately in her Annex studio in Toronto.

Artist Website


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