Though these artists hold a vast geographical and historical distance there are many parallels between seemingly disparate worlds. Simonette and Samira’s works unfold a fable through art practices that weave poetic, narrative, and imaginative paintings and drawings, located somewhere between the mythological, fantastical, and contemporary. They meet at the intersection of their overlapping and divergent cultural backgrounds that informed their art and subjectivity, contesting gender, femininity, culture, and more. Through fluid figuration capturing personal and intimate portraits, depicted memories, familiar imagery, Iranian iconography, and Caribbean-African folklore references, the viewer is transported to this visual world in which both dynamic histories of Iranian and Caribbean culture can simultaneously exist in the same space. There is an intimacy both artist hold with their respective visual perspectives informed by their unique experiences of the diaspora and exile.
Intertwined autobiographical narratives centered around culture, identity, childhood, landscapes, displacement, and exile filtered through the prism of memories collapsing the present, past, and future are some of the themes that Samira Abbassy and Simonette Quamina grapple with in their works. Samira is Iranian and grew up in England, and Simonette is from the island of Saint Vincent and lived on other Caribbean islands