Pedram Sazesh

Madder Root

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Year 2023
Medium Madder root dye and ink on paper
Dimensions 21 x 29.7 cm

About the work

I am an interdisciplinary visual artist working in the expanded field of image-making, primarily through painting. My practice investigates geopolitical dynamics related to my experiences as a dual-national citizen who has experienced different geographies and contexts. My work addresses social and personal narratives surrounding migration, immigration, and notions about national heritage and how they contend with the construction of identity through the negotiation of abstraction and image-making as the sites to model and consider the implications of my research.

After working on a body of work about the plant Rubia Tinctorum and its social, political and economic history, I chose to re-imagine and visualise this plant and imagine what it could look like in the drawing “Madder Root”. This plant has been associated with the production of several different shades of the colour red which were extracted from the roots of this plant, primarily used in dyeing textiles, and transformed into a lake pigment to be used for painting. This particular red was readily cultivated and harvested by different communities within different geographies, which would then be directly involved in producing an aspect of their national identity. For example, this colour was commonly used in nomadic Persian textile weaving, and the dye, which was also cultivated, played a crucial role in the Dutch economy in the 19th century by exporting the dye from the South of the Netherlands internationally. I am interested in how this particular colour is extracted from the roots of this plant, which are then tied to different specific ecological and geographic contexts to produce a colour that is involved in the production of national identity.

Career Highlights

Group exhibitions:

Low Clearence, PTT Space, Taipei, Taiwan (2023);

Hypernuit, Martin Van Zomeren, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2022);

Moveable Types x Snooperverse, HISK Exhibition Space, Brussels, Belgium (2022);

Always Hallways [Solo Exhibition: Epilogue to the Aerodynamic-Monument], De Ateliers, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2021);

Flatlining Shrill, Laurel Project Space, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2019);

Between the Two Columns, Institute Cervantes, Marrakesh, Morocco (collaborative project with Emmanuela Soria Ruiz) (2019);

Mobius Strip on the Sand, 934 Gallery, Columbus, OH (Sujung Chang) (2019).


Artist Research Lab, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy (2022);

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME (2017);

Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Arts, Norfolk, CT (2015).

← Amba Sayal-Bennett


Keith Sargent & Lindsay Seers →

Teleportation Error (mouse+fly)

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