Shayan Shahir Nuradeen: ‘My paintings speak of women’s freedom’
“My message from my portraits is that women should always support and empower each other. My paintings speak of women’s freedom. I want the chains on women to be broken,” Nuradeen said to Rudaw.
On November 17, her digital illustrations were the focus of an exhibition at the French Institute in Erbil. She had previously exhibited at two joint shows, dedicating profits from the exhibitions to IDP and refugee children in the Region.
It was her father who imbued her with a passion for art from a young age, and introduced her to the practice of painting.
“I have been drawing since childhood. My father was one of Erbil’s good painters. He taught me many good things in the Fine Arts,” Nuradeen told Rudaw. “He was supportive, but unfortunately he passed away when I was nine years old.”
Her mom and uncle continued to support her artistic pursuits while she attended school and university. While studying for an MBA from Brandeis International Business School in the United States, she attended painting courses at a nearby art college – an act that “reignited” her passion in arts.
“This was a factor that made me study the Fine Arts academically.”
She continued her arts training upon her return from the States, taking courses in Erbil, and at the Florence Academy of Art.
Though trained across mediums, her portfolio mostly displays works of photography and digital illustration.
“The number of people who work in this field [digital illustration] can be counted on one hand, because this style [of painting] is still new to the world,” said Nuradeen. “This art requires less time and is less tiresome, but requires special passion and a gift.”
“My message from my portraits is that women should always support and empower each other. My paintings speak of women’s freedom. I want the chains on women to be broken,” Nuradeen said.
Many of the women in her work are represented with quintessentially Kurdish colors and symbols, particularly traditional clothing.
“I am a Kurd, and I am proud of my Kurdishness. I want the culture and tradition of Kurds be reflected in my work, so that I introduce the culture to the world,” Nuradeen said.
“I would like for the old Kurdish colors and symbols to be brought back to life again. I hope we look back to old Kurdish cultures and traditions and have the new generation acquainted with them,” she added.
Interview by Hiwa Salih
Translation by Mohammed Rwanduzy