Iranian fiber artist Maryam Ashkanian is the artist behindÂ Sleep Series, a collection of pillows with portraits of sleeping people stitched onto them using a sewing machine.Â Little hints of the sleeperâ€™s personality are presented by the way the pillow is designedâ€”from a flowered watch on oneâ€™s wrist, to a ruffle that encircles that pillowâ€™s outer edge. The artist has an academic background in painting and brings that painterly touch to the work.Â On Kashya Hildebrand website Ashkanian discusses her history with fabric:Â
â€œMy motherâ€™s village is in Gilan (Caspian area), which is one of the main places in Iran for sewing. My childhood was embedded in textiles and sewing. Until I started at the fine arts university, I did not realize it was possible to use textiles as a medium, so I used oil painting at first. Later, I realized that oil paint was not my vision of the world. It took me awhile to understand and realize the numerous possibilities and the flexibility that textiles and sewing could bring to my practice. There were some things I couldnâ€™t achieve in oil painting that I can with textiles.â€Â
Images: Courtesy of Maryam Ashkanian.