Captured Heart III

Captured Heart III explores the implications of capturing someone’s heart and the power of human emotions which are ultimately manifested as an expression of love in its different forms. The sculpture has a compelling intricacy and complicated structure which is belied by its beauty, serenity and brooding stillness. On closer inspection there is a dichotomy in the sculpture between love and the capturing of a heart as a beautiful, benevolent kindness or as a more sinister and grasping containment of love as represented by the heart. The sculpture has a beguiling harpy-like form and beneath the head, the shoulders crane forward as if they are the folded wings of a bird of prey or owl and a claw-like hand appears at the base of the sculpture like the talons of a large bird. The head and face are recognisable as a human head but are made up of metal and space suggesting a salute to the stereometric construction of Naum Gabo’s Head no. 2 with its ‘description of the space rather than the establishment of mass’. This at points makes the sculpture feel light and airy but this is juxtaposed by the density of metal at the bottom of the work where the eery talons appear. At certain aspects the face appears tranquil and imperturbable. At other aspects it seems mask-like or like a balloon lifting to the sky and the length of steel that stretches down from the chin and connects with the hand, suggests some form of manipulation, control, or holding on. The sculpture raises a myriad of challenging and complex questions within a beautiful, elegant and sleek structure.

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About the Artist

Akhavanjam was born in Tehran, Iran and was sent to boarding school in Marburg, Germany when he was fourteen. Alongside his studies at high school, he attended a sculpture class which ignited his loved of sculpture. In 1989, Akhavanjam moved to the United States to attend the George Washington University where he gained a degree in Biology in 1995 and subsequently in 2005 he received an Executive MBA degree from Kempten University of Applied Science in Germany. From 1997 to 2011 Akhavanjam managed the Design Department of his family’s Iranian manufacturing company for household appliances. This gave him an in-depth understanding of the manufacturing process and a passion for the structure and materiality of objects, and in particular a rapport with stainless steel. This knowledge of the scientific properties of metal combined with his love of sculpture led him to establish his own sculpture workshop. In his work he balances the inherent strength of the material with the delicacy of the cast form, realising a creative alchemy between the two. He created his first bronze sculpture in 2011.

Akhavanjam uses the unforgiving and technically challenging medium of stainless steel and bronze which under his hand seems to melt or morph into shape. His works are both figurative and abstract and sometimes combine both in their composition. He is inspired by contrasting life forces and energies which seem to grapple with each other, held within the calm beauty, elegance and sleek finish of the polished surface. His sculptures are a commentary on society and deal with paradoxical and complex themes such as the duality of good and evil, the power of the mind over brute force and the constant struggle to create a balanced and harmonious existence.

Akhavanjam has exhibited his work widely in Iran and the UAE and has participated in exhibitions at Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and the Giardini della Marinaressa in the context of the Venice Biennale in 2017, 2019, and 2022 (where his works remain on display until November 2022). Recent exhibitions in the UK include 2021 ANTHEM, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall; Cotswold Sculpture Park, Cirencester; 2022 Dodington Hall, Lincolnshire and Cromwell Place, London.

Akhavanjam is now a Greek resident and divides his time between Greece and the United Kingdom.

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