Ridvan celebrates Baha’u’llah’s time in the garden of Ridvan where He publicly declared His station as a Manifestation of God. The Ridvan Festival is 12 days long and is also the time of year where Baha’is elect their governing bodies.
Saba Shahriari is a skillful artist whose art brings to life the innermost workings of her heart in a way that leaves her viewers similarly moved. The perspective of seeing art as a form of worship is evident both in what she shared with us about her craft, and in her work (which you’ll find below). We hope you find this small gallery of Saba’s art and her words as moving as we do:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Saba Shahriari and I was born in Tehran, Iran. I have loved art ever since I was a kid and thanks to my loving family, my talent for art was recognized and cultivated from an early age. I was 16 when I immigrated to Vienna which gave me the opportunity to draw inspiration and also gain an appreciation for European art history. Fulfilling my lifetime goal, I pursued my education in Visual & Performance Art at the University of Texas in Dallas. I now reside in Canada where I am working on some personal research on the Baroque Art.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about your art?
Creating art for me has always been about that specific feeling I get when I look at something, which could be anything. A person, an object or a building. It’s that feeling in my heart that I try to capture. I also believe different art mediums let you express yourself differently, and that’s the reason why I try not to limit myself to only one. My favorite mediums to work with are pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencils.
Baha’i Blog: What inspires you?
Being born and raised in Iran has a huge effect on my art and how I see things as a female artist. I dedicated my honors thesis to the sacredness of the role of women in society and not being the victims of objectification. The Baha’i Faith is another source of inspiration. Reading the Holy Writings and the stories about the Baha’i Faith inspires my art to be more than just a simple sketch, but beautiful works of art that can brighten up everyone’s day.
Baha’i Blog: What projects are you currently working on?
I have always been fascinated with art history and the history of religions. I usually try to connect some historic or religious content to my art. I am working on sketches of some of the Holy places for different religions around the world which I’m really excited about.
Baha’i Blog: What are some words of encouragement you might give to someone interested in pursuing the arts?
Art should be liberating, so be detached from the results and just create. Don’t be afraid to experiment and to break boundaries of creativity and enjoy the experience. Practice, dedication, and love for art is key, so learn from your mistakes and do better next time. Oh, and also never compare yourself to other artists. Remember each artist has their own story to tell, you paint your own!
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Saba, for sharing this with us!
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.
Of course we also have famous pen and pencil art giants like Architect Seyhoon and Dr. David Ruhe. Shahriari’s work is similar in the highest form of art. Congratulations
Firooz R. Oskooi (May 5, 2021 at 5:37 PM)
So incredible. The images crawl into my heart
Esther Bradley-DeTally (May 5, 2021 at 7:53 PM)
Amazing- I hope to be able to support Saba with the purchase of an original soon. Firooz, I have an original David Ruhe pen sketch and yes it’s fabulous.
Jason Illari (August 8, 2021 at 12:42 AM)