Hana Louise Shahnavaz is a British-Iranian painter based in London, UK. Best known for her vibrant large-scale paintings characterized by an abundance of exquisite detail, her work explores the individual’s connection to the Whole. Inspired by Persian miniature painting, she intricately painted nature scenes to honor Mother Earth and our unique connection to her.
The signature horse prevalent throughout Hana’s work symbolizes a unity between Earth and Spirit, humanity and nature, between rooted peace and ecstatic wildness – feet on the ground, head in the sky. Stemming from the core belief that individuals can start to tap into the universal consciousness through loving and connecting deeply with the earth and then begin to navigate their way back to ‘Oneness.’
Hana’s work celebrates the natural world; her colorful palette of pigments is handmade from semi-precious stones, plants, earth, and metals, giving her work a jewel-like quality. The artist also enjoys making paint from some exceptionally rare, natural pigments foraged worldwide, adding to the raw energy within the paintings while also making them even more unique. Gold leaf is used extensively, providing a platform for shining light; however, diamond dust brings new interaction between light and color and between traditional and contemporary. This hints at Hana’s enjoyment of the experimental nature of contemporary art and her love for the creation of new work bound by no rules, allowing for the heart and hand to lead the way.
Passionate about humanity re-connecting, the artist is inspired by classical and folk stories worldwide to express teachings of universal love. Being particularly inspired by Persian art and literature, her work opens portals into an Iranian storytelling culture deeply imbued with esoteric teachings. The fantastical landscapes evoke a sense of wonder and magic while honoring all that is beautiful.
Hana’s journey into art began in 2005 during her bachelor’s degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, UK. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Persian and Study of Religions, she moved to Iran to study Persian painting under master painter Safoura Asadian. She then continued her studies back in London at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, specializing in pigment/paint making and Persian miniature, becoming an Albukhary Foundation scholar. Graduating with a distinction in Master of Traditional Arts (2017), she was awarded the Ciclitira Prize for outstanding work in her degree show, presented by HRH Prince Charles. Following on from a succession of sell-out exhibitions Hana’s work has been acquired by numerous private
collectors worldwide, in addition to the ‘Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’ where it has become part of the museum’s permanent collection.