Normally when I prepare to write a blog post for the Artist OTW, I always do my own offline research to find out more about the person. However, Mahsa Soroudi had very few results when I googled her name. I only had her website to go off of and the interview on slack, which made writing this blog a little different from all of my past ones.
I absolutely loved the interview between the professor and Soroudi. All of the past Artist OTW videos have been the professor talking about an individual, and showing examples of their work. This is one of the first videos where he had a chance to interview the artist himself. It made her story much more personal, and I felt more connected to her projects and pieces after watching the video.
Although Soroudi does a lot of photography, her plant project stood out to me the most. Sorouri is a refugee from Iran who turned to growing succulents to cope with the sadness and changes that came from her having to leave her country. According to Soroudi, “plants taught me how to remain beautiful and strong while struggling to grow roots and adapt to a new home”. I think the fact she was able to use plants to not only cope with, but grow from her transition from Iran to the US. A lot of times, people turn to negative things like drugs and alcohol to cope with sadness and loneliness. However, Soroudi was not only able to find a positive outlet, but she was able to share it with the world as a form of art.
I think Mahsa Soroudi was a brilliant artist to end the course with. The interview provided a deeper connection and appreciation for her works. Also, many of the past artist OTWs had beautiful and amazing pieces of art, but not all of them had a distinct background as to why they chose to create this work of art. I was usually able to gather information offline, but I was able to hear from Souroudi, firsthand and in the rawest way, the meaning behind her project. A lot of the other Artist OTW required a lot of interpretation, so it was nice to be shown a beautiful project with a beautiful and easy to understand meaning.