LOST and FOUND // Erin Smith and Katayoun Amjadi // 3.16.19 – 4.6.19

This was HAIR+NAILS’ first exhibition of Amjadi’s work. Smith’s ceramic/neon works brought a technicolor glow to the neighborhood through the gallery storefront windows in HAIR+NAILS’ first season as well.

In Katayoun Amjadi’s “Nightingale and Rose” series, she appropriated the concept of the nightingale, and gives it a new form in the chicken, the common bird, the everyman. In literature and the decorative arts, the Nightingale and Rose is a metaphor for the beloved and lover; the rose is beautiful, proud, and often cruel, while the bird sings endlessly of longing and devotion. In her contemporary read, Amjadi addresses dynamics of food, economy and human relationships in our evermore-globalized world. Amjadi states: “I am engaged with the world of objects, and ask why they persist in history and culture and then also my work. What is it that makes them stay with me the way they do? Yet there they are, in all their immutable power, speaking to me in myriad ways of their history, narrating a story as it were, rich with symbol and meaning. It’s as if they were saying: Take this, take all that you see and hear, appropriate it as your own, and then say more: redirect, change, infuse, deviate, give it new voice, send it on a different trajectory.”

Erin Smith described this body of work as “a reflection of growth and transformation. It is about the development and maturation of idea and the self. Individual ideas and themes are explored through cairn-like structures placed around the gallery. A notion of time is considered in these pieces with elements from past work informing new work.”


Katayoun Amjadi is an Iranian-born ceramicist and sculptor. She belongs to the generation of Iranian women who experienced a childhood of wartime and an adolescence of social and political turmoil under the post-revolutionary regime. Katayoun explores themes of identity, perception, and interconnection in an increasingly globalized world. She often uses cultural symbols, re-worked into new visual statements, creating a synthesis between a pictorial heritage of the past and the language of contemporary art. The symbolism of iconic images is the background to reconcile the relationship between past and present, tradition and modernity, and individual versus collective identity. www.katayoun.com

Erin Smith is a Minnesota native. Her background in Product Design informs much of her current work. Process and material play an important role in Erin’s work, one idea leads to the next which often incorporates elements from past projects. Product design exposed her to the process of slip casting, which allows her to have consistent sculptural components with the use of molds. Clay is poured into a single mold numerous times, resulting in repeated shapes. Using multiple molds, Erin assembles a variety of unique sculptures made from those repeating shapes, resulting in a body of artwork with consistent visual cohesion. esmithworkshop.com