Azadeh Shladovsky

collective design fair

May 18, 2020

My decision to participate in this year's CDF came at a time when I was feeling more comfortable expressing the personal story that drives my artistic expression. For the first time, I candidly shared how my daughter's vision loss (a result of a brain tumor that eventually took her life), informs my work. The centerpiece of the show consisted of "Iris", a table made from a single block of marble that has been hand etched to reveal a poem I wrote in braille. This was the first time I've incorporated my writing so explicitly in my functional work. Though it felt like I was taking a huge risk by exposing my vulnerability, having the opportunity to see how others experienced the work was incredibly fulfilling and humbling. It re-affirmed that the act of creative self-expression provides a portal for others to see us, but it also allows others to see themselves in new ways and find connection in our common human experience.

My center lies outside the circle,

aligned by the beauty of these flaws.

A perimeter beyond your eye's hurdles,

this province of the orbit's lase outlaw.

Temporary is this passage of fog,

and darkness your last monologue.

While movements are revealed only to the still,

the delineations begin to dance and thrill.

At once you were lost and found,

and now your vision unbound.

Come find me among the peaks and valleys,

here you will discover no blind alleys.

Only light and truth await,

at the tip of your finger's weight.

See how I feel and feel how I see,

harvest the fruit from this invisible tree.