Mélika Hashemi, Artist – Kitchener

Mélika Hashemi is a second-generation Muslim-Iranian and artist-researcher based in Kitchener, Ontario. Using art as a device, she finds ways to renew intersectionality and empowerment beyond screens and institutional walls. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo (2017), and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Pedagogy with an Emphasis in Arts in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (2020). She has experience providing pedagogical consultation to educators in both public and private organisations and institutions across Southern Ontario. Her course Digital Spirituality provides a glimpse into how those with proximity to Islam spiritually narrativize other possibilities through New Media Art. Her work is included in the group exhibition Dot by dot like a baby gazelle, currently on display at La Centrale galerie Powerhouse until April 7.

  1. Motherhood

My husband is the one I look up to and lean back on. He was my spine while I was busy growing a little spine inside of me. Welcoming motherhood with open arms, I’ve allowed it to transform me completely. My life and practice inform each other, not necessarily in the way of representation, but of acknowledgment, accelerating growth.

  1. Dot by dot, pixel by pixel

On March 29, I will be presenting an e-lecture connecting the process of tattooing “dot by dot” to my ongoing research on Islamic digital worldmaking, wherein which, like the tattoo, both the Universe and the pixel are sustained one motion at a time and capable of drawing infinite iterations.

  1. Coffee

(Typing this as I take a sip now before moving onto the next couple items.)

  1. Pre-computing patterns in a post-internet world

While not at the same pace as before, I’m keeping my feet in the waters of art-making and exhibiting. My materials and approach involve embroidering onto window screens, and, more recently, freehand pyrography onto reclaimed wood. The patterns I find myself revisiting often live in the kilims and other textiles I’ve inherited. I’m currently experimenting with the technical and visual similarities afforded by the wood-burning pen tips when translating a “dot” across “screens” (e.g., pixelated text).

  1. 3D printing and scanning

I’m absolutely mesmerised by this. Although I’m not technologically proficient in either (yet), watching an object being printed from start to finish doesn’t cease to amaze me.