Soheila Sokhanvari, The Guests, 2015
Egg tempera on vellum, 24.5 x 31 cm. The New Art Gallery Walsall, Permanent Collection.
Contemporary Exhibitions

Soheila Sokhanvari
Heart of Glass

Soheila Sokhanvari is an Iranian-born artist whose multidisciplinary work weaves layers of political histories with strange, humorous and mysterious narratives.

Sokhanvari is interested in the use of metaphor to speak about inexpressible events, particularly with reference to Iran.

Magic realism and the use of metaphor in autocratic countries have historically enabled writers and artists to allow the meaning to lie between the lines; hence escaping the limitations of being pinned down. It is both a gesture of protection and an arena for exploration.


Images are sourced from family photographs that date to pre-revolutionary Iran. The abstract shapes in her work are a metaphor for loss and exile; a story of absence and presence. Since Soheila was separated from her immediate family at an early age, she has extracted negative spaces between people and objects in family photographs and claimed these as “self-portraits”. In this way, she asserts her presence in these events.



Sokhanvari received her MFA from Goldsmith College in 2011, postgraduate diploma in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2006 and BA Art History and Fine Arts from Anglia Ruskin University in 2005.