The Iranian capital Tehran recently hosted an exhibition of paintings by Elham Nafisifar called “Euphoric Garden”.

Nafisifar has elaborated on her paintings, particularly her use of nature and wildlife in these artworks.

“What I meant was that rabbits are like miracles, one minute they’re there and the next they’re gone. Rabbits are temporary and mysterious, just like euphoria,” says about her paintings.

“I have always loved plants and animals. Having a few pets and plants has always been part of my life. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed is to spend time in nature or urban landscapes because of the opportunities they provide for observing plant and animal life,” she tells IFP.

“I have always felt calm and euphoric in such places, and like an unquenchable desire, these spaces expand in my mind. They turn into imaginary gardens, secret gardens filled with various wild and tame animals, plants, trees, and flowers.”

“In fact gardens are my way of imagining euphoria, an ideal subject matter to fantasize about. For the past five years I have been painting my imagination. The result of this experience is a collection, part of which is being exhibited here,” she adds.

“I am not sure if the choices I’ve made in these works are representative of my ideas regarding contemporary social, political, or cultural issues. I don’t consider my work to be symbolic or metaphoric, but perhaps some of the issues mentioned above have unconsciously found their way onto my canvas.”

“These works gave me an opportunity to find a personal language for expressing topics I find interesting. Some of the sources behind my works were: the gardens of Shiraz, Kashan, Tehran, as well as Japanese Zen gardens; Iranian and Eastern museum pieces; pottery; and Iranian textiles and carpets,” she says.

“Each of these pieces tells a made-up story that took shape over the process of creation. For me the creation of a work of art is time consuming, a process of creating the desired under layer and texture on the canvas, thinking about the subject matter and method of work, the act of painting and editing over and over again.”

“It is similar to a form of mental purification, perhaps in some ways similar to ancient middle-eastern intentions in practicing art. I find details as important as the entire work. In the process of creating these works I have attempted to only focus on the piece itself, as well as my personal sense of satisfaction,” says Elham Nafisifar.

What follows are Honar Online’s photos of her exhibition which wrapped up on March 12, 2019 at Tehran’s Homa Gallery:

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