Artist StatementPainting allows me to explore my inner thoughts about the natural world that surrounds us, the appearance of microscopic biological elements, and how these elements interact with each other as a part of the larger universe. As an artist, mostly, I rely on the black and gold acrylic paint and its interplay with textures, organic shapes and its flow and expansion in such unpredictable ways that feed my curiosity about infinite universe. I am particularly inspired by the grandeur of nature, the known and unknown in cosmos and galaxies, and the tiny abundant elements - atoms, cells, biological structures, and their various shapes and microscopic appearances. My work explores the smallest elements, invisible to the naked eye, and conveys their abstract shapes and forms in nature, but not necessarily as they appear in their true existence, but often find their own new reality through my imagination. In my painting, discoveries come from the desire for deeper understanding of the unity of individual organic elements as the warp and weft of the universe unravels its mysteries through repetition of patterns, perceived and unperceived.
Saeideh Gilani was born in Tehran. She studied textile design at Dr. Shariati Technical University of Design and Printing. Painting began to interest her in the very early years of her undergraduate work. After taking several subjects such as drawing and the foundations of visual arts, she became fascinated with the beauty of painting. She soon realized that she should follow these interests outside of the university, so she started taking painting and drawing classes to further enhance her education. To complete her undergraduate degree, instead of working on the project related to textile design, Saeideh instead chose a painting project: illustrating one of Sohrab Sepehri's (a contemporary Iranian poet and painter) poems. This was not too surprising, because by that time, she knew that her devotion and passion for painting superseded her interest in textile design. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Saeideh decided to continue her path and honor a painter she was becoming by continuing her art education. Wanting to move beyond an experimental phase, she decided to enter an academia again, this time to pursue a master’s degree in art research. There she spent her academic hours working on the semiotic studies of the visual arts. Her in-depth studies of painting helped her tremendously and gave her more of what an eastern perspective of art had to offer. With this newfound perspective, she was able to make comparisons and connections to western thought and ideas. Out of this academic engagement came the fruition of her master’s thesis – a comparative study from a semiotic perspective of Sani' al Mulk’s illustrations and Marc Chagall’s work in the well-known classic, "A Thousand and One Nights". Saeideh’s master’s thesis was quite an unusual undertaking and has never been researched previously in Iran. She completed her master’s degree at the University of Science and Culture, in 2011.
Saeideh began exhibiting her work professionally at the Lale Gallery, Tehran in 2007. Since then she has been taking part in various solo and group exhibitions in art galleries, such as the Seyhoon Gallery in 2012, and Arte Gallery in 2013. In addition, she worked as a lecturer at the Semnan Art University for two years. As an abstract painter, she strives to apply her academic studies and her experience with semiotics into her painting. This persistent unification of ideas has enabled Saeideh to marry both, her professional and academic passions.
After a couple of years of painting in a representational style, her work evolved and she began experimenting with abstract pieces in variety of mediums. This pushed her to expand her horizons and tap into new areas of painting she had not yet explored. There was an obvious freedom and greater personal expression with abstraction and it was then that she really began to flourish. Saeideh was deeply interested in the effects and impact of color, texture and the emotional responses to strong composition and design. Today, she focuses on the visual translation and effects of organic shapes. She brings a subtle and sophisticated feeling to her paintings through a unique balance of texture and composition.