Artistic Awakening: Shahrzad Taheri

By Shereen Shabnam

Dubai based Iranian Artist, Shahrzad Taheri has become a known name in the art scene of `the UAE. Born in 1988, Shahrzad, a mother of two children moved to Dubai with her husband who a businessman.  A self-trained artist, Shahrzad loves art and has acquired experience in different fields of painting including the areas of digital art, painting, design and home furniture. We ask her about her creative journey.

Tell us about your artistic journey?

My art journey began when I was six years old and my father had a serious accident. Seeing my father on a stretcher was traumatic and the terrible images of that moment remain in my mind as my father was bedridden for nearly six months. While my father was hospitalized, my mother gave me a notebook and colored pencils and asked me draw for her so I could stay busy and not think too much about my father.

I started painting a sad girl watching the doctor and nurses take care of her father on a stretcher. The art piece had so much deep feeling that for years it remained not only in my mind but also in the mind of everyone who had seen it.

Have you exhibited your art pieces and what is your goal?

I have participated in several exhibitions that have been good for me including three solo exhibitions in Tehran about 24 years ago and several group exhibitions. More recently, I took part in two French and Canadian online exhibitions and a group exhibition with 14 artists from other countries in Dubai. My goal is to become a good role model for all women in the world one day and I hope god helps me achieve this.

Who has influenced you most or is your role model?

Successful people affect me and I try to use their experience in my work and life. But the main people in my life who are the heroes of my life, and whose words and deeds have a significant impact on me are my dear Mother and Father. They are the most honest people in my life and I believe my innate art is from my kind parents who have always been supportive of me. I also have the full support of my husband who plays an important role in my art career.

What inspires your art?

Mainly the events and issues of society, the right and wrong actions and behavior of those around me give me the spark and inspiration to create serious works of art. For instance, my work of art called ‘Hell and Heaven’ is about the generalities of my life and another work called ‘ignorant’ is about the personality of some of the people around me.

What is your most important artistic yool?

My main companions include brushes, paint and canvas which I use at night when everyone is asleep. Usually the theme of my work reflects my spirits and recent events. My most important tools are my colours that help convey my feelings on paper, wall, wood, fabric or anything else. I can even paint with my fingers and draw a picture.

How do you know when a work of art is finished?

My paintings are completely connected to my emotions unless it is from nature or photographed. I finish my painting every time I am spiritually empty and whether I’m happy or sad.

When was the most embarrassing moment of your life?

It goes back to a few years ago when I had my first success in life. I wanted to share my happiness with those around me but unfortunately some people ignored my work and passed by and I immediately regretted why I celebrated this valuable work of Art with such people. I will never forget that date and I learned from that lesson. Thankfully I have sold some of my work through exhibitions.

Tell us about your art?

I want to depict good and bad stories and characters through my paintings. I am a teacher of decorative arts (patina and marble motifs, epoxy resin, antique mirrors, modern plastering, mixed media and calligraphy). I have also published a book called ‘Hidden love, but love’ in Iran and after that, I wrote only for myself.

What is your advice to new artists?

Never get frustrated or lose your self-confidence. Remember that every artist has his own unique style and should never compare with other artist’s work. Value your efforts even if in the end you do not achieve what was in your mind.

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