Artist Tishk Barzanji Explores Human Tragedy In Psychedelic Architectural Illustrations

Kurdish-British artist Tishk Barzanji creates surreal, architecture-infused illustrations that depict impossible structures and dark domestic scenes, to engage with difficult subject matters. Barzanji began publishing the brightly hued illustrations on his Instagram account in 2016, and has posted more than 100 different designs in this style to date.

“Surrealism helps to connect my ideas and to show a glimpse of my imagination,” Barzanji told Dezeen.

Barzanji uses a diary to record his observations of the public’s interactions with the built environment – citing train stations, theatres and parks as some of the places he visits to make sketches that form the starting point of his work.

“I’m fascinated by how people live, how they communicate, and the way architecture leads the way we use space,” he says.

More: Tishk Barzanji, Instagram, Facebook h/t: dezeen

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The old man is playing symphonic tunes on his saxophone , The sky was so red I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. I made breakfast, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories, but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the bed tick tick tick me not making a sound and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind . It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative, whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it. – A Song For You

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I didn't plan to stay long. I've never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares stained with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him, from beneath her hair and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or fantasy, he had heard their tale before. Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow – Don't Miss it

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Some part of me knew he would show up, that if I stood in one place long enough he would find me, like you're taught to do when you're lost. But they never taught us what to do if both of you are lost, and you both end up in the same place, waiting. I offer her half of my hit of acid. It's my second or third time tripping, it's her first, and she's understandably trepid. Awake all night, at one point I find her touching her reflection in a cruelly lit motel bathroom, asking if she'll ever be the same. I kiss her then for the first time and whisper, "No, we are transforming". We got her to talk to a psych doctor once, the doctor asked if she heard things other people don't. "Sure, I hear birds in the morning when everyone's sleeping, I hear trees rustling when no one's around. What I was trying to say, maybe, is that I don't know what it is I'm capable of transforming into." – Potion

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PART 3 / Mission / Words by @ed_scissor Lost in the wind. I ain’t slept a wink. I’ve been lost in the wind,  I’ve been making my way, I’ve doing my thing. Crossing the desert for two days. I crossed the desert for two days. By the time I got in through the door of the Inn and ordered a drink, it was too late. Who knows what they're doing in there? Behind the motel door. When they knock, don’t let them in. When they knock, (don’t) let them in. Lost in the fumes of a Pontiac revving.  The crossroads reek of a road race. As the world falls down and the stars break through the night sky I stay all in. All and all, till morning. The weight of the world.  A violent eclipse.  The moon and the sun. And the roads never end, and the sky is on fire, above enchanted springs. The horizon line; an illusionary space, left there till it fades out. Pitch black no street lights, yet I see everything. Burning daylight sees storms brewing, drawn by laws of gravity. Let's swim forever, then sleep forever, us two. When the service is down, across the town, what'll we do? #tishkbarzanji #edscissor

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The Moving moment I met myself – Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. I was caged within a four dimensional cube that eclipsed the world around me in an icy mist. I screamed; begging someone, anyone to hear my pleas, but my voice had been extinguished and left me with a slight wheeze from what little oxygen I had. I could glimpse the field of energy as it shrank through the safety of my circle to envelop me in a blazing grip. I was alone; unbearably separated from my reality. The walls that caged me were not of this world, but were within my mind. I hold infinity in the palm of my hand and eternity in an hour. Because I found my purpose, and there was nothing to break it. I was saved by the ghost of my future wife.

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Let me man up, and get in my zone. It was summer 2013. At first I felt dizzy – not with the kind of dizziness that makes the body reel but the kind that's like a dead emptiness in the brain, an instinctive awareness of the void. Everything around me was evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality – it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. I walked along the street and see in the faces of the passersby not the expression they really have but the expression they would have for me if they knew about my life and how I am, if I carried, transparent in my gestures and my face, the ridiculous, timid abnormality of my soul. It was summer 2017, I'd woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist. – Prevail or be forgotten

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I've never been lonely. I've been in a room, my chest felt tight. I've been depressed, and anxious. I've felt awful, but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in my utopia, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. – They call me a recluse

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My life has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker. I am a product of war, washed up on that little island in a tide of blood. What made us amazing wasn't that we had miraculous powers. It was that we had escaped the carnage, and making changes. Making the most of this unremarkable life that had been mapped out for me. “I knew there was something peculiar about you," she said. "And I mean that as the highest compliment". They worried that I spent too much time alone, clinging to the notion that socialising was therapeutic. So was drinking, I reminded them. It's as if the more I cared about something, the less I can see. Emotion clouds my vision. – Stargazing //

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I breathe slowly and deeply. I make my eyes still under eyelids, I make my mind still. They were a deep emerald green, the exact same color as mine, and they glowed with an intensity I had never witnessed before. The sun's reflection making them sparkle like dancing crystals. The emerald irises appeared to be swirling in circles, creating the illusion that his eyes were never-ending. Flecks of darker emerald clustered around each pupil made my breath catch in my throat. Suddenly, my disheartened mood vanished, almost as if I had never felt sadness before. Something about these eyes held me in place, as if I had found a balance, free of worries and concerns. – I make my mind still, 2018

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