Octogenarian Rafat Sarraf finds pain relief in painting 

May 28, 2017

TEHRAN – Paintings full of passion for life by the 86-year-old, self-taught artist Rafat Sarraf have been put on exhibit in Tehran’s Golestan Gallery.

“At the age of 84, Rafat was sick in bed and began to paint to entertain herself. The paintings she has created are full of passion for life, full of beautiful colors and hope. This exhibit is a must see indeed,” gallery owner Lili Golestan has written for the exhibit.
 
The exhibit “Suddenly Age 84”, displaying 36 paintings by the artist, opened on Friday and was warmly received by visitors.

Her daughter Asefeh, who is a graphic designer, says that her mother was sick in bed at home two years ago, suffering from some sort of allergy that made her scratch herself all the time.

“I prepared sheets of paper and several pencils to drive her attention off her illness and keep her hands busy,” Asefeh said.

She added that there is a charity organization near their house, where physically and mentally disabled children are being kept and that she teaches painting to those children.

“I noticed these children keep calm while painting. Every day I told my mom about the events happening in the organization and showed her the children’s paintings, and she was more encouraged to paint.

“My mother used to ask me to draw the primary ideas for her to put the colors on. However, she gradually found her own forms and themes and asked me for help, for example where to put shadow or how to add light.” She explained.

Most of the paintings Rafat creates are inspired by the traditional house she used to live in when she was a child in Isfahan.

”The house was full of paintings dating back to the Safavid and Qajar eras,” Asefeh said.

Rafat has made her paintings over the past two years; some were even done while she was in hospital; however, she has no plans to sell them and believes if they are going to be sold, the money should be spent on making charity schools. 

The exhibit will be running until May 31 at the gallery that can be found at 34 Kamasai St. in the Darrus neighborhood.

Photo: Flowers offered by visitors are seen below two works by painter Rafat Sarraf on display at Tehran’s Golestan Gallery on May 26, 2017. (Mehr/Mohammad Khodabakhsh)

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