Shirin Sahba was born in India to an architect and graphic designer, spending her adolescent years surrounded by the pristine azures of the Mediterranean in Israel, and visiting 25 countries before she was sixteen. It was travel that compelled her to paint and her palette was laden with the colours, the tones, the contours and textures of the vibrant landscapes she was privileged to encounter and the vivid personalities who negotiated those spaces.
Since the beginning, her commitments to canvas of her reflections on the nature of diverse peoples’ engagements with myriad spaces have evolved a unique consciousness in her art: humanity is one and humanity’s watchword is unity in diversity. And to accept this is to insist on drawing (out) the joy, the goodness, the beauty of people relating to people relating to spaces. To see the joy even of separation, the goodness even of sadness, and the beauty even of failure. The nostalgia of place, the sense of being of but not in Shirin’s landscapes, or vice versa, is what engenders the shared sense of expansive intimacy and secure vulnerability that is unique to her work.