Biography

I was born in a small town near Cologne, Germany. At the age of five, my family moved to Tehran, Iran. During my early schooling years, growing up in a very different Tehran under the Pahlavi’s reign, I immersed myself into reading global literature and watching films from across the world. I started my training in classical drawing at the age of fifteen, in hopes of pursuing a career in fashion design. Through a very serendipitous occasion, my portfolio was received and noticed by one of Queen Farah Pahlavi’s personal fashion designers. This encouraged me to move to Vienna, Austria, in order to formally train in Fashion Design at the Applied Arts University of Vienna.

A year and a half into my studies, due to certain family matters, I was left with no choice but to abandon my university and return to a revolutionary Iran, one that was extremely difficult to recognise. The universities there were in total lockdown due to the cultural revolution. The war between Iran and Iraq had just begun. I was soon encouraged to return to Vienna, but the unique and eye-opening experiences and the compulsory growth that this time of turmoil promised and demanded made me choose to stay in the end.

I spent the following three years pursuing a private intensive education in painting and literature, with a range of experienced tutors in the field. When universities opened again, I studied Textile Design and Engineering, the closest thing to Fashion which was offered in this new Iran. Here, I explored and familiarised myself with specific patterns pertaining to my historically rich Persian identity. All this was in the midst of bomb explosions, foreign invasions, and news of my fellow students being imprisoned, executed, and dying in battle.

Following a strange decision, I next moved to Geneva, Switzerland. For the first time, under exceptional life circumstances, I was confronted with the true patriarchal meaning of being a woman and existing in the heavy shadows of certain religious, cultural, and political perspectives. The deep pain and disappointment of this experience silenced my voice and faded my colourful paintbrush for the decade that followed.

My return to Tehran accompanied the breaking of my years of silence. My tongue had suffered a major blow and so it had willingly submitted its place to my paintings. My first collection of work, Bird in the Cage Can’t Sing, was created over the following years. After a while due to the political climate of the time, I was left with no choice but to leave Iran once again.

Although throughout my life, deep wounds have slowly and steadily carved their way into the inner layers of my soul, it is through these very openings that shines a ray or two of hope, and a strong yearning for new life. My paintings hold within them a very fine thread between pain and love, or failure and prospect. I am not merely a messenger of tales of suffering and defeat. Through my paintings, I speak of the universal nature of humanity, womanhood, serenity, spirituality, and courage.

For several years in Vienna, I was struck by agonising illness and physical pain. I continued painting nonetheless. My pieces from this time have never been shared with anyone. However, they each served as loyal companions, bringing with them songs of light and endurance during a very dark time.

The next chapter of my life found me in the metropolitan city of London, UK. After an extremely turbulent period of personal and professional development, I have finally found some stability. Here, I have created my three most recent collections. As painting is the only language that has served me most faithfully, I continue to let the strokes of my brush on the canvas crystalise and communicate the tempestuous moments of my life. Perhaps my purpose is simply to remind you that you are not alone.