Ava Serjoie - Harmony of Colours

"Self biography"
100x100cm, acrylics on canvas

A self biography, the story of my life, an airplane that connects me to the people I love, my connection to security but also what separates me from all that is close to my heart. The scarf blowing in the wind, with my hair, which is also the branches of the tree. This feeling of being blown away, as if I can never have my feet really fixed on the ground. The cherry earrings, the beautiful childhood, that every small thing was a treasure and source of happiness. My huge necklace, my eastern jewelry, some thing I can not wear in the foreign land, I had to leave it back home, and now there is only the memory of it once on my neck. The gold fish, the Iranian new year. The hope for change, that things will get better. The tulips, 5 a symbol for the People who were killed in the 2009 demonstration in Iran. The apple, so beautiful but which has changed our destiny forever.

"Long lost memory"
Painting and poetry have long been interwoven in the history of Persian art. Poetry has been a source of great inspiration through out the history of art. In my paintings, dream, fantasy, reality and poetry come together. Emotions, aroused by contemporary Persian poetry intertwined with childhood recollections, memories of all that is gone, all that we have lived, experienced; all that is so close to our heart, but so far away out of our reach.

"Home is where the heart is"
100x100cm, acrylics on canvas

Where is my home. The English say, home is where the heart is. But, my heart was never so homeless. So torn apart between the people and places that I love.               

"Grandma's garden"
A world where every cherry was a ruby earring, and grandma’s garden was that sacred place where nothing could shatter your happiness. A colorful memory, of a nostalgia for how every thing once was, or how you remember every thing was combined with the emotions and feelings aroused by the happenings in the society.

"Praying to nature"
Since when you start to paint and how you discover your calling for painting?
With 12 I knew that I definitely want to become an artist. I used to play the Piano, I loved drama and painted in every single opportunity I got. I had a sketch book that was filled with my drawings. Later I gave Music and acting up for painting.

"New light"
How do you choose your themes? What inspire you?
Painting and poetry have long been interwoven in the history of Persian art. Poetry has been a source of great inspiration for many artists through out the history of art. In my paintings, dream, fantasy, reality, and poetry come together. Emotions, aroused by contemporary Persian poetry intertwined with childhood recollections, memories of all that is gone, all that we have lived, experienced; all that is so close to our heart, but so far away out of our reach. Persian and Eastern paintings, such as Indian miniatures, with their vast variety of colors and fine patterns are a great source of inspiration as well as model.
"Grandma's garden"


What do you try to transmit to the public through your paintings?
Nature is to be seen in every single of my work. I love trees and respect nature, I admire how such tiny small flowers manage to get through the hardest winter and as April comes suddenly everywhere pop up delicate small flowers as if it had never been winter. I respect their strength, their patience to wait for the right time. That is why I often paint symbols from nature. My pictures tell stories, every element has a meaning for me and there is a reason it is presented in my work.

Is it a paint you care most?
I love art and live with it every day. Art for me is not just what we create but how we live, our actions, our thoughts, our hopes, fears, our values. Art is not just what we practice or an skill it is what we believe in.

"Where we want to go"
100x100cm, acrylics on canvas

The above painting titled, "Where we want to go", is a mixed media, painting with collage from my ticket from my various trips. It shows our search for this ultimate place, where we want to find happiness, or security, or love or success. But in our hearts we kind of keep comparing things to our past, with what we remember from our childhood.

“Cypress garden”

What can you tell us about your work technique?
I mostly paint with Acrylics, but also oil and water color. I love to sit and recite to myself, like people who tend to sit and talk about sweet memories, or read poems, I do this visually for myself. For this I use water and poster colour. They lend themselves for small size paintings. My large size paintings are in Acrylic and oil. Acrylic I use more often lately since it dries much faster.
  “In the darkness hours of the night”

What are the prices of your paintings?
My painting's prices range from 500 Euros for my small paper size paintings to 5000 Euros.


What are the constraints of an artist from your point of view?
I believe in this post modern Era there are no real constraints for artists when we look at it from a professional point of view. Artists can decide to work in and with any media they like, they can people or even other artisans to bring out their concepts for them. However, politics and financial situations can still play a very negative role in artists work and artistic expression.
“Come to my garden”

Since the Revolution in Iran in 1979, executions, of active students, intellectual and other innocent people fighting for democracy has been a constant tragic part of the contemporary history of Iran. In 2006 once more I was totally torn apart by the news of the death of another student in prison. This news, with the remembrance of the serial murders of the intellectuals in the 90s inspired the following painting 'chained garden'. Ahmad Shamlou (an Iranian contemporary poet) in one of his poems tells to Khomeini, "you spoke with sickle with the jasmines" .

“Chained garden”

Trees in my work are a symbol of freedom just as in nature. They grow and spread their branches and grow their leaves. Spread their shadows and give us the pleasure of enjoying and using every thing they have. Chained garden, imprisoned trees, their branches have been cut, their leaves from all this oppression, have turned yellow. This is the image of a garden deteriorating, a nation dying under oppression but still trying to stand high.
Speaking with my executor
The following collages are part of a series of works inspired but the tragic news of executions in Iran and also massacre of people because of religion. They are a series of dialogues between the victim and the executor. The texts are in Persian but a short translation has been given for the title.

"Its as if you were never in love"

"After my death" I will give you my eyes, so you can see the world through them, after my death I will give you my lips, to sing for democracy with them. After my death I will give you my nose to smell the flowers, after my death I will give you my feet to walk in a free land with them.

"Will you miss me after killing me?"

  and "after they have killed us" (you and me), they shall pray for our souls

I wish I could give birth to all who were killed this year

The news of mass executions and torture and rape in prisons, would not leave me in peace and were the inspiration for the above painting. My yearning, my longing as a women artist to be able to give birth again to all the innocent, to all who were killed for fighting for freedom, a word that has become only a graffiti on the wall. My heart bleeds with pain, while the sky cries with me, witnessing all this injustice.

“I wish I could give birth to all who were killed this year”
120x150cm, acrylic on canvas

What does an artist need to become famous? Is it enough talent? 
Talent plays an important role, not just for artistic creation but also how to get to know the right people and to do right things to get the right attention. However, a good manager, a good advisor would definitely help to get the artist on the right track.

How you would define yourself?
I am sociable, but also shy, I can be loud and party but need my snake house to get into and sulk. I love poetry and live with it, but enjoy Rock. I am not interested in politics but am disturbed and burdened by social problems and injustice. I can't change the world but like to try to bring to spot light what needs to be changed. I miss hope but can't live in, I love the world but so many things disturb me. 

I love my refuge in my home amongst my plants when every thing gets too much.

Born on 14th of April 1975 in Teheran.

2003   Masters of Arts in Fine Arts, Alzahra University ,Tehran, Iran
1998   Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts, Azad University ,Tehran, Iran

2004       Institute for Promotion of Visual Art – Honorable Mention
2004       Municipality of the City of Tehran – Certificate of Appreciation
2003       Cultural Department of Municipality of the City of Tehran – Distinguished Service
2003       Tehran International Fajr Theatre Festival – Honorable Mention
2003        First Conference on Iranian Islamic Art – Certificate of Appreciation
2003        Alzahra University – Valedictorian of Graduate
                Program and Gold Coin
2002        Alzahra University – Outstanding Graduate Student
                 Research and Gold Coin
1997         Kish Institute for TTC (Teachers Training Course) – Certificate of Completion
1992        Tehran Youth Painting Competition – First Place
1990        Tehran Youth Painting Competition – First Place

2004  a video installation, titled: “The Last Supper”
2010   Installation "We are not numbers"

2011           31 Friedberger Kustausstellung
2009         Almere kunstlinier Holland
2006        Kunsthall Sweden
2005       Bahman Cultural Center
2005       Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art
2005       Shafagh Art Gallery
2005       Shirazi Art Gallery
2005       Hilesluis museum Holland
2003       Institute for the Promotion of Visual Arts – Tehran
2002       UNESCO “Women, Art and Dialogue among Civilizations” – Oman
2001        Center for Dialogue among Civilizations – Tehran
2000       Painters Society – House of Artists, Tehran
2000       Exhibition of Iranian Women Artists –
               University of California, Berkley

2011     Archive gallery Germany
2003     Ibn Sina Gallery Iran
2001     Tehran Gallery Iran
2001     Arian Gallery Iran
1999     Niavaran Cultural Center Iran

Iranian Painters Society
Institute for the Promotion of Visual Arts

N.B. Some of the works displayed above are for sale. If you want details about the painter and his paintings, please use email/telephone mentioned in Contact section.

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