In 2012, I bought Brownie Cresta Camera from 1955 and a few medium format films at Camden market in London. For years, I had a fear to use the camera and the films. Since 2019, I have been experiencing changes that have emotionally impacted my feelings and personality in my life. Walking along Southern Ocean beach in Western Australia and watching the water make me feel moments of closeness, moments that everything becomes private and intimate. Considering my ongoing fear of losing a member of my family and recalling memories of the past, I grabbed the camera that I had kept untouched and the films that now are expired.
I decided to explore my fear, distance, the idea of something unreachable and far, but also very close to me. Using the expired films and the camera that I only need to press a button to capture a moment, I explored the gap or perhaps a moment between uncertainty and reassurance in my life. I cannot measure the gap or count the moment, but I can imagine its vastness and immensity.
Layli Rakhsha is a Perth based artist born in Iran. Printmaking and photography are her technique and medium for most of her projects. Her works often reflect the idea of home and how memories from the past and imagination can influence how a home is visualized. In relation to her experiences of migration and displacement, Rakhsha explores home can be defined by personal experiences, feelings and emotions, social and cultural relationships and attachments to a particular place. Besides exploring the ideas of home and particular place in her work, she focuses on photography and refining and developing screen-printing techniques to express, release and unfold her feelings and ideas about repetition and daily routine. Rakhsha completed her PhD at Curtin University in 2019. She has presented several papers in national and international conferences. One of her conference papers has been published as a chapter called Nostalgia: memories of the past, longing for the future in Indian Ocean Futures: Communities, Suitability, and Security in 2016.
Rakhsha’s recent article Visualizing home in Australia was published in IMPACT Printmaking Journal, Spring 2020. Rakhsha’s recent solo exhibition Seven moments of the olive tree that was exhibited at the University of Cantabria in Spain in 2018 is drawn from Rakhsha’s memories of reading Lorca’s poetry translated by Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou in Tehran. This work metaphorically reflects a new space where two different cultures and languages are encountered.
Rakhsha has been an artist in residence at different institutions and art centres such as Vancouver Art Centre, Fremantle Art Centre (FAC), Peth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and Perth Centre for Photograph (PCP). Rakhsha is currently a sessional academic teacher at Curtin College and working as a community education consultant at Artsource.