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Art, Design Powerhouse Museum , Ultimo Until Sunday August 8 2021 Free
A silver, engraved war amulet on purple thread from 1800s Persia
Photograph: Supplied/Powerhouse Museum

Time Out says

The Powerhouse unveils a celebration of Persian art just in time for Persian New year

UPDATE, June 28: As of June 26, the Greater Sydney region including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong is under a compulsory two-week lockdown until 11.59pm on July 9. Many events in Sydney have therefore been cancelled or postponed until after this period.

The Powerhouse Museum will mark Nowrouz – that's Persian New Year if you didn't know – on March 19 with a new exhibition, Iranzamin. It’s the museum’s first dedicated survey of their Persian arts and crafts collection, presenting more than 100 rarely seen gems. The show explores the rich social and cultural history of Persian society, known today as Iran, with a distinct focus on the Qajar era, spanning 1789-1925.

The exhibition is divided into seven themes: Joy and Happiness, Purification and Cleansing, Spirituality and Devotion, Poetry and Calligraphy, Rituals and Performance, Patronage and Craftsmanship, and finally Nature and Design. Iranzamin encompasses everything from hand-woven carpets and rugs, to armour and weaponry, to beautiful blown glass pieces, ceramics, tiles and embroidery.

Persia straddled two main trade routes in the Indian Ocean and the Silk Road, so many of its cultural traditions spread far and wide. Iranzamin also acknowledges the wide-reaching influence of this artistic diaspora, including the works of Australian painter and textile designer Florence Broadhurst.

Curator Pedram Khosronejad says, “Persia has a long tradition of arts and crafts stretching back more than a millennium, but it was under the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, King of Persia between 1848 and 1896, that Persian arts and crafts flourished. The Powerhouse’s Persian collection, mostly from the Qajar era, is unique, rich and diverse. The objects tell fascinating stories about Iranian immigrants to Australia and cultural exchange between the two nations.”

A program of events attached to the exhibition includes a Nowrouz celebration followed by Haftsin on March 20, a table traditionally set for the Persian new year, and Sizdehbehdar, the Persian national day for the celebration and admiration of Mother Nature, on April 3. There will also be a series of free talks in the exhibition on March 18 to mark the opening, as part of Powerhouse Late, from 6pm-9pm. It’s sure to offer even more fascinating insights to a grand exhibition that will run until August 8.

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Venue name: Powerhouse Museum
Address: 500 Harris St
Price: Free

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