‘My innovative approach to the traditional Persian art of miniature painting is a reflection of my personal journey as an artist. I started my education in textile design and fashion. My journey into art took a different direction when I became interested in classical and contemporary miniature painting, which proved to be the focus of my love of art.
I completed my university education in Persian carpet design, which enabled me to incorporate many of the technique and motifs into my later painting practice. I then entered and won a national competition and started my professional career as a designer in a major corporation, while teaching art on a part-time basis.
In 2001 I was invited to join The Art Centre, a well known centre of excellence for arts in Iran, as an apprentice, this being the common way artists are trained in the traditional art of miniature painting in Iran. Whilst at the centre, I came into contact with many other famous artists who were to influence my style and practice over the coming years. I then joined private classes run by these accomplished artists, until 2004.
In 2004 I received the Diploma of Honour, a prize given to young artists for recognition of their work, and in 2005 won two further competitions in fine art (painting). At this point I had my first solo exhibition in Iran, immediately followed by exhibitions in Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan and Alhambra University in Lahore, Pakistan.
In 2007 I came to study in London, in order to develop a more global perspective on art and to benefit from the variety of art practices offered in metropolis. Here I studied Fine Art at Kensington and Chelsea College, exploring many issues and styles in contemporary fine art practice and theory.
Alongside my research and studies in fine art, I have run various painting workshops and held several exhibitions in London, Durham and Leicester.
In 2011 I was encouraged to continue mastering my skills in traditional arts and design, so I joined The Prince’s School of Traditional Art as a master student, finishing with distinction in 2013.
My artistic journey has taken me from the worlds of textile and carpet design to miniature and contemporary painting, resulting in a unique artistic style and identity which is best described as ‘contemporised’ traditional art.’ - Maryam Mirzaei