Maryam Mirzaei’s innovative approach to the traditional Persian art of miniature painting is a reflection of her personal journey as an artist. Although she started her formal education in textile design and fashion, her journey then took a different direction when she became interested in classical and contemporary miniature painting, which proved to be the focus her art.
Maryam’s studies in Persian carpet design enabled her to incorporate many of the techniques and motifs into her later painting practice. She then started her professional career as a designer at a major corporation, while teaching art on a part-time basis.
In 2001, Maryam was invited to join The Art Centre, a well-known centre of excellence in the arts in Iran, as an apprentice. This is the usual way artists that are trained in the traditional art of miniature painting in Iran. Whilst at the centre, Maryam came into contact with many other artists who influenced her style and practice over the coming years. In 2004, Maryam received the Diploma of Honour, a prize given to young artists as recognition of their innovative work, and in 2005 won two further competitions in Persian and Islamic art (painting). In 2005 Maryam had her first solo exhibition in Iran, immediately followed by exhibitions in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan.
In 2007 Maryam came to study in London, in order to develop a wider perspective on art and to benefit from the variety of art and artists practising here. She studied Fine Art at Kensington and Chelsea College, then joined The Prince’s school of Traditional Art as a master student, and is currently studying an MA in Islamic Studies, which led her to explore many issues and styles in contemporary fine art practice, traditional arts, and theory.
Alongside her research and studies in the arts, Maryam ran various painting workshops and held several exhibitions in London, Durham and Leicester.
Maryam’s artistic journey has taken her from the worlds of textile and carpet design to miniature and contemporary painting, resulting in a unique artistic style and identity, which is best described as a contemporised traditional art.