Interview with Maryam Harvani for Toi Art Gallery

October 15, 2020

Interview with Maryam Harvani for Toi Art Gallery

Maryam Lamei Harvani was born in 1985 in Sarab, a historical city in northwest of Iran. After graduating in Graphic Design, she was awarded the National Art Prize  and the art award from the Ministry of Science Research. Her work is inspired by the Iranian Golo Morgh (Flower and Bird) paintings, a traditional Persian way of painting in which the flower is the beloved and the bird is the lover.

Maryam is also part of the Iran's Miniaturist Association, Tehran Visual Arts Association and Zanjan Visual Arts Association. She has participated in more than twenty exhibitions in Art museums, galleries and cultural centers as well as her individual show in Paris in 2009 and in Istanbul-Turkey 2019. She has taught workshops on Iranian painting in universities and Art Institutes from 2006 to 2014 and was in charge of the Visual Arts Association of Zanjan Province in 2010. Her work is also published in journals and art books.

1. Where did you grow up? How was your childhood like?

I was born in a cold winter day in the city of Pars Abad Moqan, in the border of Iran and Azerbaijan. I spent my childhood in that amazing nature, among the red flowers, Aras river and Moqan Jungle. I finished primary school in Sarab city and then in Zanjan. Because of my spiritual connection to nature and as a habit of childhood, I used to study my lessons on the apple trees in our house, those dreamy days became the basis of my art life.

Aras (river) - Wikipedia

2. Your work is inspired by the traditional Golo Morgh, why did you choose this theme?

Because of my direct spiritual connection to nature, my feelings were more connected to this kind of art expression (flower and bird).

Under The Shelter of Generosity. Limited edition print.

3. You are part of the Iran’s Miniaturist Association, tell us more about this technique and how do you use it in your work?

The art of flower and bird is a subset of miniature art. In this art, bird is the symbol of lover and flower is the symbol of beloved. This art is made by drawing thousands of dots next to each other. In the past the artist used to mention the name of God while making every dot, and in fact this is a very spiritual art, which is based on poetry and literature traditions. I want to emphasize, I am have been trained extensively on this style, because after years of attempts and practice I developed a deep spiritual connection with this style and I feel I have reached a deeper spiritual state in connection to it.

Caress, limited edition print

4. What contemporary Iranian artists influence your work?

I was the student of a famous art professor (Mohammad Baqer Aqamiri) and I learned the miniature art under his supervision. Since the beginning of my career I had this strong will to develop my own artistic style, and that was one of my serious challenges during my years of learning. My best friend Mohammad Piriaee, a painter and sculptor, and my husband Hadi Tabasi, who is a director and idea creator, encouraged me to follow my goal to have my own style. I found my path by relentlessly practicing the technique and adding my own concepts, feelings and personal experiences.

Iranian Painter: Mohammad Baqer Aqa Miri

Mohammad Baqer Aqamiri

 5. How is your daily work routine?

I always say that my life is divide between painting and singing, my second passion. I spend my day doing these two things I love.

6. Where is home?

At the moment I live in Istanbul, Turkey.

7. What are you reading?

While painting I listen to audio books for hours. I love Fyodor Dostoyevsky's books.

8. What would you like to do as future projects?

My next project is to mix painting and singing in a video; I am going to compose separate songs for my flowers and birds based on my feelings, moods and ideas.

Autumn Flower. Limited edition print.

The lover makes love. Limited edition print.

If you enjoyed this interview, we recommend our interview with Mohammad Barrangi 

By Karina Miller

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