Sara Rahbar , Iran/United States b.1976 | Cycles (Flag #7) 2007 | Iranian flag, vintage textiles, military badges, gold guns and aeroplane military pins | Purchased 2012. Queensland Art Gallery | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Sara Rahbar | Glorious haze 2012 | Handwoven textiles, silver braid, keys, a brass chain, military emblems, pins, buttons and bullet casings, and a sweet heart pendant from an American World War 2 soldier on vintage American flag | Purchased 2012. Queensland Art Gallery | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
b.1976, Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in New York, United States
Location: GOMA 1.1
Sara Rahbar began making her iconic ‘Flag’ series in 2006, when she sewed torn fabrics sourced from Tehran’s bazaars onto an American flag. Her flags have since grown in complexity, accumulating fine embroidered fabrics, carpet, ornamental fringes, fragments of text, and religious and political symbols. Political readings are inevitable, but Rahbar maintains that the flags are autobiographical: she fled Iran with her family in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution and the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War in the early 1980s, and insists that, as a product of her times, she has internalised these tensions. Rahbar’s works are intended to reflect a personal sense of dislocation and disappointment — they also display the artist’s attentiveness to material detail, and possess an ornamental beauty that resonates with their strong personal character.