Artist Focus: Shirin Babazadeh
Painter – IRAN
Shirin Babazadeh is a graphic designing graduate. She has started self-studied painting 8 years ago. The reflection of her passion for mythology is evident in her art. Her artworks are along with her ontological questions and ideas which roots in her mind. According to her, myths are like windows, opened toward cognition and insight. Shirin tries her best to create something that can be a step towards excellence and evolution. She aims to reinforce the sense of unity through the emotional impact of her art on the audience.
Employing universal and sometimes Persian myths in a distinct atmosphere is a specification of her art. Her love for colors caused her artwork to be pleasing and attractive for the audience. Shirin talks about her attitude and says: “I express myself through painting which appears in the shape of form and color. I must say that nothing can make me feel good but the colors.”
Why painting? What made you interested in it?
I was not connected to painting since my childhood. My passion for art made me experience various fields. I remember when I was at the third grade I had to write an article about my future job and I wrote that I wanted to be a tourist or a writer.
Time has transformed my words into forms gradually. I studied graphics at university and worked on the field for few years afterwards. I was attracted to illustration during my education which caused me to illustrate some children’s books with my own stories. But my aim to create freely caused me to choose painting. The atmosphere of my art is between painting and illustration. I realized that the need to create is the most powerful desire of mine. Painting is the way I experience and it reflects my feeling through colors and forms. I must say that nothing can make me feel good, but colors.
What are the bases of plants and women’s presence and along with warm colors?
Presence of women in my paintings root in a simple truth; that I am a woman. My art is based on my concerns and questions of mankind. Since I experience life as a woman, I am willing to reflect it from this perspective. In mythology, woman is a symbol of procreation and fertility and is mentioned as the mother of the earth. I believe that women are strictly bounded with the nature, and this is the reason why I paint women and plants together both in real and symbolic way. Presence of plants creates a feeling of life. We may have been separated from other creature, but in fact we all are a part of an existence and I try to picture this fact in my own ways.
What does the incorporation of humans and animals suggest in your artworks?
In primitive artworks, something that is pictured had surely taken place. In old days life had a magical face and every figure was aimed to symbolize something including traps’ fertility, increasing of the preys, defense against enemies, banishing evil spirits and life after death. I do have the same intention and use the symbols in my artworks to declare my idea, as if I am painting my innermost dreams and reification to them; a dream of obtaining an eternal moment and turn it to the present.
Incorporation of humans and animals is a symbol of unity and a reminder of who I am for me. I use warm colors (which I have always loves) to convey the feeling of light, clarity and dynamism in my artworks. I choose colors with my feeling; not with my eyes.
How do you picture your mentality? How long would it take to complete all the details?
I use oil and acrylic paints. Each artwork, considering its size, will take one or two months. As an artwork reaches its end, I am more willing to work on it; and that’s why I am so into details and final touches.
Wings, fire, light and usage of symbols are the evident features of your art. Tell us about your senses and reasons for applying them…
Humans have always been pondering about quiddity and reason of life, while we are experiencing a stage of our life according to our circumstances. Sometimes we are looking for a savior, a hero who can show us the truth while we are neglecting the hero inside us. We are all facing our need for a hero in our mysterious journey of our life sooner or later. I believe in the necessity of studying the mythology because it will works as a sparkle in our subconscious that is followed by an insight because of its symbolic concept. Dreams work the same way because they root in the depth of our subconscious and they can give us a better perception of ourselves. Joseph Campbell (scholar and mythologist) has a remarkable definition in this regard: “dream is an individual myth and myth and a myth is a collective dream.”
I like to look at life as an epic and create an extreme might in myself. I have always been looking for signs in the journey of my life. I am terrified of thought inertia, the thought which has spread the wings of our perception and connects us with the universe. Wings are the symbols of flying, ascent and willing; fire is the symbol of light and clarity, wisdom and knowledge, brilliance and purity and constant soaring. Wings of perception will fly in the light of wisdom.
What is the role of mythic storytelling, narration and character development in your art?
Story is a part of my life so that sometimes my dreams are filed with symbols. According to Carl Gustav Jung symbols and archetypes belong to our collective subconscious and psyche and make our dreams. I believe that mythic stories are guiding us in the complicated maze of our personality and lead us to reach our inner essence and being. Reaching this precious essence is not possible without distancing from routines and everydayness. I like stories so much but I am not working with a specific context because I don’t want the image to depend on the context.
Tell us about your methods…
I began with graphic designing and then attracted to painting. In painting, I am directly engaged with colors and have the canvas in front of me instead of monitor; I like colors and canvas more. I am not capable of imitating. I am a self-studied painter and I want to continue it in my own way. Whatever I am seeing and feeling affect my art. I have never wanted to reach a specific style. I believe that I will ultimately have a style if I would follow my innermost feelings and dreams. The importance of technique is an undeniable fact, but an artist should not aim to present an artwork with a marvelous technique. A true artist must have a good performance, caused by the recognition of forms and it’s coordination with his inner feelings.
And your final words…
Although we are social creature, we are having a personal experience through our whole life. We are experiencing different stages of awareness; we may know something without having touched it or comprehend it and for me comprehension is essential. Since all my artworks have been inspired by my inner inquiry and my efforts to find their answers, I want to feel every second of my life. For me, art is a way of better seeing, better hearing, better understanding and a profound life. Despite of my different perspective of art, I would like the art to pave the way of love and kindness in order to be able to create a deep inner feeling and creates a sense of unity between the artist and its audience.