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Nikta Mohammadi, Memory Stone (film still), 2024

Nikta Mohammadi: Memory Stone

The Lowry is excited to present Memory Stone by artist and filmmaker Nikta Mohammadi from 23 March – 5 May 2024.

Originally from Tehran and now based in West Yorkshire, Memory Stone is Nikta Mohammadi’s first institutional solo exhibition. This brand-new work has been commissioned by The Lowry through its Artist Development Programme: Developed With The Lowry.

Memory Stone is an immersive film installation exploring dreams and displacement within the context of the British countryside. Transforming the gallery space through highly composed and performative video work and an accompanying visceral soundscape by composer Babak Mirsalari, audiences will experience an alternate version of Northern landscape. Combining elements of Sci-fi and Iranian mythology, Mohammadi reflects on her own and other migrants’ psychological and physical relationship with land and place. Rather than presenting the landscape as a passive backdrop for human stories, Mohammadi treats the landscape as a creature with agency, one that’s alive.

Memory Stone investigates the British rural landscape as a site of absence and loss, incorporating folklore, myths and rituals from Iran and Yorkshire. The dramatic rural landscape of Calderdale, where Mohammadi lives and works, forms the setting for Memory Stone. The film follows a rambler, wandering the landscape; a curious otherworldly structure unearths memories that were removed from their consciousness. An ancient dream or a misplaced history, perhaps belonging to their non-existent alien ancestors.

The research and development process for Memory Stone was informed through a number of workshops with the Doosti group – a community group of Farsi-speaking refugee and asylum seeking women based in Salford. These shared impressions and perspectives of the British countryside lend to Mohammadi’s ongoing interest in the ghostly imprints that migrants create on foreign lands. Memory Stone attempts to recreate these memories and histories.

Zoe Watson, Contemporary Curator, The Lowry said “Working with Nikta through The Lowry’s Developed With programme has enabled a long term, sustained level of support to realise an ambitious new film work in the lead up to Nikta’s first solo exhibition. It has been an immense pleasure to work with Nikta on the creation of Memory Stone, and we can’t wait for visitors to experience this new work in the Lowry Galleries and as part of our contemporary art programme.”

Formed in 2009 Developed With is The Lowry’s flagship artist development programme for early to mid-career artists who are establishing their practice and creative identity, and are looking for time, space and support to take a significant step forward in their work.  Funded by Arts Council England and Salford City Council, the Developed With program offers a bespoke package of support for artists over 12-18 months to create ambitious, high-quality work and develop their professional practice. For the first time, The Lowry has extended this opportunity to a visual/media-based artists and Nikta Mohammadi has worked closely with The Lowry to present the first exhibition in the Lowry Galleries as part of the Developed With programme.

Antonia Beck, Senior Producer: Artist Development, The Lowry said “At The Lowry we are passionate about nurturing talent, supporting the creation of bold and dynamic new work and developing the creative professionals and cultural leaders of the future. Nikta is an exciting and visionary artist and changemaker, making profound and politically charged work that connects with diverse audiences and inspires conversation.”

Nikta Mohammadi, Artist: “Memory Stone is an attempt at turning an internal landscape into an external one. It is a dialogue with fleeting geographies, one that is far and one that is near, and the process of bridging the two gives birth to a new place. I am eternally grateful to all my collaborators and participants whose love and labour brought this work to life.”

Nikta Mohammadi: Memory Stone is at The Lowry from 23rd March – 5th May 2024. Supported by Arts Council England and Salford City Council, The Lowry presents a regularly changing programme of contemporary exhibitions alongside the permanent LS Lowry Collection. Memory Stone has received additional funding and support from Arts Council England, a-n The Artists Information Company, University of Salford and Salford City Council.

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