In the Studio with Azadeh Ardalan

In the studio with Azadeh Ardalan, a contemporary visual artist whose current works depict human figures sitting or standing within interior spaces. We met with Azadeh to tell us more about growing up in Iran, their greatest influences, and unexpected sources of inspiration.

When did you first begin to see yourself as an artist?

I have always had an inclination towards art but my main concentration before practicing it was  foreign languages. After graduating in foreign languages and literature from Bologna university,  painting became my priority. This was a new starting point in my practice as I had more time to  focuse on painting.  

Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?

I am from iran. Various experiences I had during my childhood and later during my young adult  life helped me to build my self a visual source for creating. 

Paint us a picture of your artistic journey. What inspired you to first pursue, and then continue to practice artistic work? 

There are so many sources of inspiration that strengthen and stimulate my imagination towards  painting. I remember starting learning different foreign languages at a young age. This allowed  me to genarate interest in reading lots of poems and short stories in different languages. My  imagination became stonger and I think this has been a driving force in my practice since then. 

What’s the message of your work? Where do they come from? 

My current works depict mostly human figures in interior spaces. These figures show the  moments of daily life based mostly on imagination. The exterior elements of this series are  important to create the primery idea. I always think alot about the colour palette and  composition to get closer to the ambience I want to create in a painting 

Who & what are your greatest influences?  

The themes I choose for my paintings come from my imagination and I think nature is one of my  greatest inspirations.  

An unexpected source of inspiration?

There are things that could be indirect sources of inspiration. It could be a still life scene or a  specific composition of objects that would become part of my memory which I refere to during  my working process. I normally change them a lot to make it fit into the ambience I want to create.


What do you want people to take from your work when they view it?

I like when my works communicate with the viewer the same feelings and emotions I experience  when I finish my work.  

What events in your life have mobilized change in your practice?

What I am exposed to, through the contemporary world, cinema, literature, human figures,  photography, etc changes my works continuously, at the same time I try to cultivate new ideas to  convey through my paintings.  


What are your ideal conditions or catalyst for creating a “good” piece of work?

I think my ideal conditions are related to my thoughts when creating a piece but this is not a  firm principal for my work as creating and inventing in a way I want deponds on various factors.  Concentration is important to me as this leads me to a mindful state which could be very useful for my practice. 

Tell us the inspiration behind your works?

In the painting Sunset I tried to invent a scene diffrent in some ways from other works in the  series in which human figures are present. This was a new approach to precent a moment of  daily life based on an imaginary scene. 

Something in the future you hope to explore?

In the future I plan to work on a new series of still life’s with different mediums in larger scales  which maintain some of the most important components of my current works.