Talented artist Roshanak (Roshi) Khalilian shares some insightful information about her incredible international art. Talking colours, culture, life events and emotions, Roshi tells of the inspirations that contribute to her impressive collection of creative artwork.
Born in Iran, Roshi Khalilian has visited many Middle-Eastern and European countries, gaining first-hand experience of a variety of lifestyles, languages, religions, cultural values and traditions. This is demonstrated throughout her artwork, which skilfully integrates common human traits and behaviours present across these otherwise very different regions. Roshi graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree while residing in Iran and has shown an eagerness when it comes to continuously learning and developing. This highly motivated and enthusiastic artist is currently further enhancing her education at the UK Open University and has settled into life in Switzerland.
Khalilian is a prominent name at worldwide solo and group exhibitions. Recognised and respected as an independent artist, Roshi has developed a positive reputation for her remarkable ability to capture attitudes and emotions within her unique paintings. The distinctive designs used in the much-loved ‘Mind Games’ ink collection and ‘All That GoLD’ series have displayed outstanding techniques, with a focus on striking shapes and colours. Continuing in true artistic style, her independent mixed media development is both meaningful and extremely eye-catching. Proud founder of the highly regarded art studio Atelier Roshi, this passionate painter is popular amongst her diverse and loyal fan base. Amazingly, Roshi brings her abstract art alive by creating compositions the human race can relate to despite our differences. For example, visual communication methods adopted by this artist successfully remove language barriers.
At Project Luxury & Art, we are delighted that Roshi saved space in her busy schedule for our question and answer session. Here’s what she had to say.
Your art is inspired by your cultural background, travels and observations. Can you share some thoughts regarding your reflections on humanity and culture?
Where we come from largely defines who we are. I come from Iran, a land of pain and beauty, secrets and revelations, wars and songs. Rumi and Hafez taught me to sink deep into myself and recognise a whole pallet of emotions, reactions and attitudes inside me. They showed me how pain and joy, love and hate, certainty and doubt coexist within the same moment, pulling me apart and making me whole at the same time. They gave me the sense of width of existence. They showed me how to recognise love and fear, longing and resentment showing up in my soul moment to moment, how to collect them on my pallet and, like colours, throw them on the life’s canvas, using every feeling as a tool to create a fuller, ampler life.
Emotions, colours and stories play a major role in your artwork. What is your creative approach when transferring these onto the canvas?
An emotion comes to me, I close my eyes and look at it, discerning its colour, shape and movement, watching it change and become something else. Thinking in colours, shapes and textures feels familiar to me. The stories I read and experience transform in my head into patches of colours collecting, flowing, dripping, living on a canvas. I suppose a good story always finds its way onto a canvas, at least inside my head. Then the more experience, skill, tools you have at your disposal, the easier it becomes with time to translate feelings into paintings.
What is your favourite artistic medium, and why?
Gold has a special place in my work. For generations people have been using gold to coat and preserve cultural objects, conserving history under its generous shield and keeping it available for future generations. Gold collects past and future inside it. I use a lot of it in my work – my Persian roots crave its richness and protection. For me, gold is not only the shiny metal that enriches everything it covers, and certainly not only the proof of sophistication, wealth and power. Its tale and significance has enchanted me for many years and is now encapsulated in the essence of most of my works. My works evoke contrasting and even conflicting feelings and experiences: hope and death, wealth and poverty, joy and sadness, the light and the dark aspects of hope in life. They reflect the ambiguity and fullness of human nature and power of hope. Within challenging techniques, I experiment with abstraction, exploring the significance of gold and its long journey throughout life and history. I attempt to create a luminous atmosphere, to represent hope as the strongest element.
You are currently working on a new collection of artworks called ‘Seeking the Truth’. Please tell us how this came about.
I had been blocked for a few months before ‘Seeking the Truth’ came about. I couldn’t really make anything new, because I felt like I was almost over-thinking, over-feeling, over-doing every experience I wanted to share. It felt buried too deep inside my head to find its way to the canvas. I had an urge to go deep, but the deeper I went, the less clear it became. Instead of finding clarity I was wrapping myself in more confusion. Until I suddenly realised that perhaps the way to clarity lies through a great deal of confusion and mystery and lack, and I am, in fact, on the right track. That gave me strength to grope my way through it, which, in fact, you could say opened up the channel for the new collection. I feel light and excited now to be working on it. It makes me hopeful. I feel like I’m in the right place, seeking my truth as I always do. The creative process itself also has become an experience of searching deeper and deeper.