One late afternoon in spring, we were driving back Tehran-bound with Abbas from Morteza Momayez's house in Kordan. We had spent the day with Morteza and his wife, Firouzeh. The sun was setting slowly. Abbas was driving with his beige Nissan Patrol. Morteza's house was about ten-minute drive from Kordan. The road was narrow, with mountains on one side, a river on the other, and few trees that dotted the landscape with their fresh leaves. We drove in silence for a while. He drove slowly, wish made it easy to take in and savor the beauty of nature. He finally broke the silence and said “You know what I'll miss the most in this world after I die? Nature!”

He wasn't much into gardening in his home. Even though he more or less took care of the couple trees in his yard, he enjoyed the countryside and its nature more, and was drawn to nature. It didn't matter what season it was; spring, summer, fall, or winter, he would drive endlessly, even in deep snow, just to take one picture of a single tree in the snow-covered landscape. He was always looking for excuses to spend time outside the city, on the road, in nature.

He practiced carpentry for a while. He made chests, small and large ones. I think it was around the same time that he started making small drawings of nature with colored pencils. They came more or less in A4 sizes. He created them with his usual patience, obsession, precision, and zeal.

However, in his mind, nature photography gradually took over, and between his films, he spent more time taking pictures of nature. Painting nature was replaced by taking photos of nature.

In a way, nature was his retreat and his refuge.

- Farshid Mesghali


photo: Mina Zivari

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