Initially, I trained and worked as a doctor – most recently in East London, but also in Siberian TB prisons and on the actively volcanic island of Montserrat.
I’ve always been passionate about art, and partnered my extensive travels in Iran with a Masters in Islamic Art. Now I’m concentrating on my own art practice. My current multimedia / digital work focuses on the ‘Cycle of Life’, and ‘How we see’.
1. The ‘Cycle of Life’.
With my longstanding professional interest in end of life services, I thought I knew quite a lot about death and dying. But after my father was told he had a terminal diagnosis, his enormous joie de vivre – his expertise in Living – underlined how, literally, vital it is to live until you die. I created some multimedia performances linked to this at the Showroom Gallery, and am still continuing to develop these now.
2. The other main theme in my work is ‘How we see’
Doctoring taught me a lot about observing – paying attention with my eyes and ears, and my hands too, as I learnt formally how to physically examine. My study of Islamic art underlined that it was Islamic optical theories which underpinned the Renaissance. My first Showroom piece suggested that the way we look at Western art is more static, maybe even clockwork, compared with the much more creative, playful experience (for eyes!) of looking at the visual elements on mosques and madrasas. Since I have lots of things doctors-don’t-like-going-on with my eyes, I am in the privileged position of knowing exactly how precious and fragile vision is. I am busy blending analytical and aesthetic images, linked to this.
Exhibitions / curating:
- Dawn Breaks. Showroom Gallery. Participant in group multimedia presentations. 7 Dec 2017: Preview. 13 Dec: U My Show. 26 Jan 2018: Free flow fictioning.
- More than nomads. Solo photographic exhibition. I learnt Persian to be able to walk the traditional twice-yearly migration with a Bakhtiari family.My photos of this were exhibited at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS in 2008.
- Curating. Alongside my own photos, I curated some early images of the Bakhtiari: it was on their land that Middle East oil was first found, and they were the muscle for the 1909 Constitutional Revolution. I am now the virtual curator for early images of the tribe.
My Iran-related publications, teaching, conferences and lectures are here
- I’ve also got various medical degrees and certificates, including: MB BS BSc(Hons) JTCGP MSc FFPHM MRCGP(Distinction). Look on drcaromawer.com if you want to know more.