Meherzad Shroff is that old, wise character from every film that imparts sage, life-changing wisdom to the story’s protagonist. As cliche as that film trope sounds, you really will leave any encounter with him with a clearer, more confident sense of self. His artworks too possess a strong, self-assured style, and in our latest spotlight, the taciturn yet cerebral individual discusses his fascination with architecture and his renewed artistic practices.
Q: Hello Meherzad! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: How long is a piece of string?
See, I believe I could describe myself to you but eventually you will build your own preconceptions, which is fine. In the meantime consult my photographic personality on my tumblr.
I am first generation Australian born Parsi/Zoroastrian to parents who are both doctors, one in medicine and one in Fine Arts [Dance]. I am currently a PhD by Design candidate (part of the first ever batch) at the University of Adelaide. Currently, my topic is going through revision and is not finalised, as I have only commenced recently. Nevertheless, it is moving in the direction of “conceptual igniters and Adaptive reuse”. I am also a member of How Now Is Soon as a writer and visualizer for Architectural discourse in Adelaide (and beyond).
Some event posters Meherzad created for The School of Architecture and Built Environment
A: Recently I have been inspired by artists/architects who employ composition in dynamic formal and interpretative ways. To be honest, I have focused the last decade on learning about architecture and space, so this interview is a new signpost in realigning and reawakening dormant artistic manifestations. I am inspired by anyone who can directly tilt preconceptions about life, space and aesthetics. I am inspired by “what if” statements. Creative people who I have been looking at recently are Stanley Kubrick, James Turrell and Gordon Matta-Clark.
Meherzad’s shot of The Sydney Opera House
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Type of work: ink on paper, graphic design/collage and photography.
Analogue: For a long time, I used to enjoy using ink. As an Aquarius, the liquid nature of the medium was for me exciting – ink can be smooth, it can be immediate, it can be independent in how it reacts to the paper. I like how it can be precise and also imprecise depending on how it is administered.
I believe in graphite pencils, Artline pens and fountain pens on 200gsm paper. Well-designed pencils, pens, and objects used to mark paper, to me, add personality to the piece.
Digital: Photoshop, InDesign and Instagram (Sony Nex-6 and iPhone 5s).
Future: Moving forward, I am interested in playing around with atmosphere and projection as a medium.
Meherzad’s shot of The Braggs Building at The University of Adelaide
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Eclectic/non-sequitur while moving towards concepts of subliminal expressionism.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: ‘Experience’ the idea, theme or feeling, then ‘conceptualise’ mentally and consider medium and skill set and produce.
Graphic Space, 2015: An example of Meherzad’s graphic design works
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: I am excited in seeing how my PhD by design will influence my aesthetic and thematic sensibilities. The PhD may propel the development of installations, which hopefully can be exhibited and evolve in the space in which they will be viewed.
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: This is a tough question. I would say that there is no definitive artist which I could recommend. I would propose that people look into intention of art or medium, and the force fields within those topics – I would recommend Art with the intention of being ironic and provocative. In my opinion, the medium of virtual reality and art is an interesting space.
A Natural Lie, 2011: Meherzad’s homage to Magritte
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: Actually, I like the intimate, sterile environment of The Greenaway Art Gallery. Their address is 39 Rundle St, Kent Town SA 5067.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
A: Apart from my home and hard drive, you can’t find my pure artistic work anywhere yet. However, I intend to present a piece at the upcoming SALA art show run by The Adelaide University Art History Club, so stay tuned. My graphic design work can be found in the hallways of the Architecture school at The University of Adelaide. I am currently building my website.
Sink, 2007: An ink artwork by Meherzad
Q: What 3 items would you include in a time capsule to be opened in 50 years time?
A: One empty picture frame to put a photo of my future partner; a mirror because it is unbiased to time; and a notebook with unfinished stories, poems, drawings to finish upon re-opening.
– Masya Zabidi