Persian Grafitti….A success story

Shokufeh Kavani

Shokufeh Kavani (Persian:  کاوانی شکوفه),  (born  1970 in Tehran) is an Iranian contemporary painter, translator and artist currently living in Sydney, Australia. She is primarily renowned as a translator and as an abstract painter of the post – Islamic society of Iran.


Contents ·          1 Background ·         2 Life and career ·         3 Paintings ·         4 Bibliography ·         5 References ·     

    6 External links


Shokufeh was born in 1970 in Tehran, Iran. She received her education first at the Saa’di Primary and Secondary School and then at the Jeanne  d’Arc  High School. She went on to the Bandar-Abbas medical university for a bachelor in nursing before migrating to Australia as a professional nurse.Life and CareerAt the age of 19, she started painting in reaction to the events that were happening around her. She was only nine when the 1979 Islamic revolution took place. The nine-year war between Iran and Iraq had a deep impact on her. While in Iran, she carried on painting but never exhibited her work in Iran  . In 1994, she earned a ‘First Certificate in English’ from the Cambridge university centre in Tehran. She decided to put her new ability to use by coupling it with her deep knowledge of Persian and Persian literature. She started translating The Whirling Dervishes by Ira (Shams) Friedlander, a bestseller published in 2004(1382)  by Zaryab  Pulishers .  The book is about the whirling dervishes and the ceremonies with which they are involved. The story of Mevlana Jallaledin-Balkhi known as Rumi in the western world is embedded in the narrative. The book has magnificent black and white photos of the Sema, a Whirling Dervishes ceremony which opens a new window to the mysterious and esoteric world of the Dervishes. The majority of the photographs have been taken by Ira Friedlander. The rest are by Nazih Ozal. The new approach to the history of the Mevlevieh sect and their music over the last 100 years makes the book unique . In 1997, Shokufeh migrated to Sydney, Australia and started working and studying again for her bachelor degree in Nursing as her degree from Iran was not recognised.All this while, she continued painting and had her first solo exhibition entitled Persian Graffiti. Promoted by the famous Iranian writer, Shahrnush  Parsipur, the exhibition gained a great deal of attention from the Australian Media .

After the 2005 Cronulla riots, she joined the art group, TAH, Art for Humanity and participated in twelve group exhibitions all over Australia to raise awareness against racism .Some sale proceeds of the group went to an Afghan Charity, Mahbooba’s Promise  , to support Afghan widows and orphans.  These humanitarian efforts   earned her nominations for ‘ The Australian of the Year’ Award  in 2005, 2007 & 2008,  and for the ‘The Pride of Australia  Medal’ in 2005 and 2007 by The Daily Telegraph .Her translation of an article, ‘The Dog and the Long Winter’ from a book by Shahrnush Parsipur, was tabled in the Conference on ‘Women and Depression’ in 2007 . In 2008, her painting, Dog and the long winter was chosen for   a poster for the Women’s Mental Health International Conference in Melbourne, Australia .She continues to exhibit her paintings regularly. Two of her paintings featured among the official final selections in the ‘My Favourite Movie Moments’, the 2006 Sydney Film Festival and also her paper appeared in first international Symposium about Iranian cinema . Two paintings have been selected for 100 years of imprisonment, a special exhibition organised in the USA in support of Political Prisoners in Iran .

 In 2006, she was selected to present “The Prince Claus Award’ to Dr. Michael Mel in Papua New Guinea alongside the Dutch Ambassador H.E.Mr. Niek van Zutphen. She attended the main “The Prince Claus Award “ceremony in 2008 and met the Dutch Royal family and the laureates of the awards (8).She has also participated in ‘Fictive Days’, a very exciting and interesting project organised by  for the Berlin Festival in 2008, wherein she played the role of Queen Elizabeth along with seven others playing  famous characters in the history of cinema  .Her work was the official selection for the Australian Day special exhibition in the gallery   of contemporary art in Sydney .In 2009, her translation of Anita Heiss’s Who am I? The Diary of Mary Talence   was published in Tehran by Morvarid Publishers. This has been positively reviewed in the press and acclaimed by the public .In 2010, she became the first Iranian-born   Australian recipient of the Edna Ryan Awards in the category of Art, bestowed by the New South Wales Women’s Electoral Lobby to women who have been pioneers in different walk of life .

She currently lives in Sydney, works as a nurse and also  studies for her postgraduate certificate as a Genetic Counsellor, paints and intends to take participate in more exhibitions and works on translating another book. Three of her paintings will appear in this year ( 2011 ) Florence Biennale.

 Bibliography            Ira ( Shams ) Friedlander , 2004, Whirling Dervishes , Shokufeh Kavani ( translated ) , Zaryab Publishers, Tehran , ISBN : 964-7097-27-1      

  –        Anita Heiss, 2009 , Who am I ? The Diary of Mary Talence, Shokufeh Kavani ( translated ) , Morvarid Publishers, Tehran, ISBN : 978-964-191-006-0           

References and External links


Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!