Jala Wahid – Shahmaran


Shahmaran, Kurdish snake goddess, possesses eternal life and wisdom of ages. Legend tells of a young man who stumbled upon an underground cave. Disoriented, his eyes fell upon a beautiful creature in the sultry half-light. She had the body of a snake and the head of a woman. She greeted him genially, but fearful that he would reveal her hiding place, she kept him close by regaling him with sweet stories. Years went by and eventually, once she had no more stories to tell, he wanted to return to his own kind. He had fallen in love with Shahmaran and promised never to reveal her location, and so she let him go. One day his Sultan fell sick, and the only known cure was to eat the flesh of Shahmaran. Reluctantly, he gave away her secret, thus she was captured and brought before the Sultan. Her secret, she revealed, is that whomever ate from her body would be healed, but whomever ate from her head would die. They killed her, and boiled her flesh. Lo, the Sultan ate from her body and was indeed healed. Distraught, her lover ate the poisonous flesh of her head so that he would die too. No sooner had he done this than Shahmaran’s secret was revealed. Her last, parting gift, was to leave a lie as her legacy: instead of dying, her lover received her secrets and her wisdom, and had to live with the guilt and sorrow of her murder forever.

Thea Smith




















Photography: Oskar Proctor. Copyright and courtesy of the artist and clearview

Jala Wahid is an artist based in London, currently studying at the Royal Academy of Arts. Previous exhibitions include, ‘And I’ll Promise You’ a performance part of the Serpentine Park Nights series; ‘Promise Me’, Jupiter Woods, Vienna and ‘Your Mouth Is An Open Grave’, All Welcome, Vilnius.


clearview is a contemporary art project with its base on Fountayne Road, Tottenham (Haringey, North London). clearview is a residency program, a project space, a series of events and a collective, dedicated to the vision of invited practitioners. clearview is not a game.

clearview’s residency program functions on an invitational basis, allowing the visions of an individual practice shape the length and form of both the program itself, and the shape of its outcome, with five supporting curators. The 300 m2 headquarters is a live/work space with access to a large project space that acts both as studio, and site of exhibitions and presentations.

clearview is co-founded by:

Canan Batur
Cedric Fauq
Joss Heierli
Nilz Källgren
Filip Zezovski Lindh

Jala Wahid
09.02.17 – 05.03.17
Unit 7B High Cross Center Fountayne Road
London N15 4QN (Seven Sisters / Tottenham Hale)