Golnaz Jebelli is an Iranian artist, born in India and grew up in Europe, spending most of her childhood in Sweden. She took up formal painting lessons at the age of 9 and later moved to Paris to receive training at Parsons School of Design (2001-2004). She lives and works in London. In October 2021, she had her first London Solo Exhibition at Campbell’s. She presented a collection of paintings called, Nomads. As an Iranian growing up and living in Europe, she has a particular cultural lens. Drawn by her Persian heritage, her ongoing project of painting Nomads, include Nomadic children. This body of work was inspired by the history and lives of Iranian Nomads, as well as being a celebration of her deep rooted Persian heritage, of vivid colours, interwoven with personal memories of ancient crafts, such as weaving carpets and fabrics on the Silk Road. Although the paintings tell the story of particular nomads, they are also about “Nomads” as an archetype. They speak to people on a deep level, to the part of psyche, which is wandering, searching, usually of a place called Home. For Golnaz, art is her Home, and through this she grows her roots. Art gives her life force connection. She connects to people through her art. Golnaz mainly works with private clients and receives commissions for portraits and abstract paintings. Her work is collected by distinguished collectors globally. Golnaz has recently collaborated with fashion brands and will be having a Solo Show in Como, Italy later this year.
Golnaz has always been fascinated by trees, which were the main subject in many of her previous paintings. Influenced by the writings of Carl Jung, she turned her attention to people. Not just seeing them from an aesthetic point of view but looking deep into their souls, and seeing how their past and life stories have shaped and moulded them into who they are today. In this portrait series, ‘The Inner Child’, Golnaz studies photographs from her client’s childhoods to look deeply and intensely at each line, each mark, for hints towards what is not always obvious to the naked eye and to find and paint the hidden story. Working this way, and by asking them to share their fascinating life stories, allows Golnaz a true insight into the inner life of the adults she knows and sees today. This holistic process, with an intense focus on the inner child and life story, creates an energy and connection which feeds into her paintings – some with sad, traumatic childhoods, others sweet and happy, but both equally intriguing.
Siblings, parents and in particular the mother/child relationship are interweaving stories Golnaz tells through her paintings. It is an invitation to the viewer to look at the shadow but also the light shining through the soul, and to observe transformation through all the nuances and her rich use of colour.