BBC 100 Women 2015: Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian

Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian has been making work for more than five decades, both in the US and and in her native country.

As one of the BBC's 100 Women 2015, we document her life through her art.

Image copyright Artist & The Third Line
Image caption Farmanfarmaian was one of the first Iranian students to travel to the US after World War II. There she met her first husband, another Iranian-born artist, and worked alongside artists, including Andy Warhol, before returning to Tehran - photographed here in 1975.
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Image caption She is particularly known for her geometric constructions, which play on her interest in infinite possibilities –the individual parts in this work can be moved around to create different forms.
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Image caption Geometry plays an important spiritual part in Iranian architecture. The hexagon, explored here, "has connotations of six directions (up, down, left, right, forward and back) and the six virtues" according to an essay on her by H G Masters.
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Image caption Her interest in mirror mosaics and reverse glass painting was sparked by a visit to a mosque in Shiraz in 1966. “From the ceiling of the dome down to the ground, it was all mirror mosaics… It moved me. I used to cry like a baby whenever I visited this place!... Then when you sit there, you see the reflections of all these people all over the ceiling – people crying and begging for good wishes and so on. I thought – this is wonderful,” she told Ibraaz magazine.
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Image caption Shahzed's Garden is inspired by the royal garden of the same name that belonged to her second husband's cousin. "Gardens have always been comforting places for me... when I am in the studio and I am feeling tired, I tell my workers - I am going to the garden now," she has told Ibraaz. The couple's royal connections meant that when the Shah fell in the 1979 revolution, their house and all their possessions were confiscated and they were exiled to the US.
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Image caption Lighting for Neda is made up of more than 40,000 mirrored pieces and is dedicated to the memory of her late husband. After his death she returned in 2003 to make her home in Iran once again.
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Image caption Now 91, she is still exploring the possibilities of geometric design.
Image copyright Artist & The Third Line
Image caption Her works have been exhibited extensively in Iran, the US, Europe, and the Middle East. “I try to do something new all the time,” she told Ibraaz.

100 Women 2015

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