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Inside the studio: Soheila Sokhanvari

An artist sits at their studio table painting, with an array of multi-coloured paints behind
6 Oct 2022

We caught up with multimedia artist Soheila Sokhanvari in her studio.

Soheila talks through the sanctity of having her own creative space, painting with ancient medium egg tempera, and her connection to the 28 feminist icons from pre-revolutionary Iran whose miniature portraits make up her exhibition Rebel Rebel in our Curve gallery.

“You have to love to be able to paint, so I feel like I had to love these women in order for me to paint them.” 

Borrowing from David Bowie’s 1974 cult pop song, Rebel Rebel pays tribute to the extraordinary courage of these female stars – who pursued their careers in a culture enamoured with Western style but not its sexual freedoms – and laments their fate, after the revolution in 1979 left them with a stark choice: renounce any role in public life or be forced into exile.

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