By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Recently many of us have read that
Meryl Streep is going to portray an Iranian lady painter, that most of us had
not even heard of, in a forthcoming film (see article).
So who is this lady that
This unusual lady, who was sold into
marriage at a very young age
raised nine children and lived with two havoos (a husband’s other wife). She was a farmer and a farmer’s wife most
of her life and at the same time was a seamstress for ten years, hairdresser for
fifteen and a midwife and a healer for many years, before becoming a painter at
age of 67, after her husband died a few years before. This strong lady never went to school
nor had any formal training. She
first started painting when, after a long illness, her children, out of concern
for her health, sold the cows that she was raising. Out of grief, she started to paint,
first on small scraps of paper that she found in the house using natural-made
colors from fruits and trees. Her
very first painting was a portrait of a cow. Some while later, her youngest bought
her some paper and paint from
In an interview she said that she paints like a child. Her paintings are full of stories, most with bright beautiful colors, but there is always some dark shade somewhere in her works, to bring out that bitter sweet side of life. Her paintings are her creation of her recollections of the stories that her husbands used to recite to her as well as local folk legends, religious tales, her children’s faces, her life and her dreams. She also got ideas from stories in the Koran and the Bible and what was going on in her village.
At first she started to paint at night and would hide her paintings if someone dropped by unexpectedly, because in her village a farmer should not have anything to do with paper, as it was considered a waste,
She has had several exhibitions in
The exhibition closes on the 29th April.
... Payvand News - 5/1/06 ... --