Hana Louise Shahnavaz is a British-Iranian painter based in London, UK. She is best known for her vibrant large-scale paintings, which are characterised by an abundance of exquisite detail. Her work explores the connection between the individual and the Whole. Inspired by Persian miniature painting, her intricate scenes of nature are a homage, not only to Mother Earth, but also to our precious connection with her. The signature horse, prevalent throughout Hana's work, symbolises a unity between Earth and Spirit, humanity and nature, between rooted peace and ecstatic wildness - feet on the ground, head in the sky.
At the core of Hana’s work is the idea that everything on this planet and beyond is made up of vibrating particles of energy. With this in mind it becomes easier to understand that everyone and everything in our universe is connected, and that we are in fact all ‘One’. Loving and connecting deeply with Earth can provide a more tangible pathway to tapping into higher vibrational energy.
Storytelling enables Hana to express her passion for humanity reconnecting, not only with each other but with the wider cosmos. Her inspiration can be attributed to classical and folk stories from around the world, in particular, Persian miniatures and their accompanying 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 whilst honouring all that is beautiful.
Hana's work is a celebration of the natural world. Her colourful palette of vibrant pigments are mostly handmade from semi-precious stones, plants, and earth, giving her work a jewel-like quality. Hana also enjoys making paint from some exceptionally rare, natural pigments foraged from around the world. This adds to the raw energy within the paintings whilst also making them even more unique. Both gold leaf and diamond dust provide different means of bringing light into the artwork. The gold is a platform for shining light, bringing the warmth of the sun. The diamond dust brings movement, allowing the light to captivatingly dance over the painting.
Hana loves the experimental nature of contemporary art, which opens doors to endless creative possibilities. Equally important for her is retaining the essence of traditional Persian miniatures. This results in a fresh visual which bridges the traditional and contemporary. She continues to create new work which exists beyond rules, allowing the heart and hand to lead the way.
Having graduated with a distinction in her Master of Traditional Arts degree in 2017, Hana was awarded the Ciclitira Prize for outstanding work in her degree show, presented by HRH Prince Charles. Since then Hana has had a succession of sell-out exhibitions, including the opportunity to display at the world renowned Saatchi gallery. Her work continues to inspire audiences across the globe, having been acquired by the ‘Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’ in Kuala Lumpur, as well as many collections throughout the world.