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Arran Rahahiman

Arran Rahimian is a visual artist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. A sculptural presence of everyday objects is an anchoring tenet of Arran´s practice along with his obsession for marks and colours. His work reflects his natural surroundings and is often built up of layers of pigment. Documenting time and the unpredictability of chance plays a huge part of his process and method. A range of his captivating work is currently being exhibited in Bianca Bova Gallery in Chicago and in Galleri Kai in Copenhagen.

Arran, could you tell us a little about yourself and how your journey to making art started?

I was brought up in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art. As a kid I was always captivated with experimenting –not in a scientific way– more in a playful manner. You would find me drawing with stones and twigs and on the ground and walls, caveman style. I think that method of working still plays a part in how I approach drawing and painting today. It comes back to the joy of mark making and being childlike, that free-flowing energy that comes with a drawing.

Please tell us more about your style, what ideas or methods you apply to your work. Why abstraction?

My work is hugely inspired by artists from the abstract expressionist era. Artists such as Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell and Barnett Newman. Why abstraction? Good question. It´s not exactly a decision for my work to become abstract. However, I´m naturally drawn to art that is abstract rather than something more representational. 

Where does the process begin for you?

I don´t plan how my work will look; it´s very intuitive. It´s the unpredictability of time that plays a big part in my work. The process of making is never the same, and that is what keeps me captivated when painting. The process needs to be exciting, if it is, the final outcome has a high chance of being exciting.

What role does memory play in your art?

Not a huge part. When I paint, I´m responding intuitively to a surface, or textures that I´m working with. I´m not referring back to a moment in time and responding by creating a piece of work that reflects a memory as such. I´m responding to the present time, I guess the journey to my studio, listening to nature plays a significant role in how I feel while working, the music I´m listening to, that possibly reflects in my work.

"Something that makes you look twice, three times and lures you back in again and again."

Your work has been embraced by interior designers. Is that important to you?

Yes, this is true. It is always nice to hear that interior designs want to use my work when curating a space.

Let´s turn to the art of others. What do you look for in a piece of art? What really catches you or makes you think?

Something that makes you look twice, three times and lures you back in again and again.

Georg Baselitz has said that all good art comes from misery. Would you agree?

I´m going to say controversial. I believe good art has a discussion that comes with it. I really like what Olafur Eliasson says about good art, how art is dead without opinions and discussion. Good art comes with discussion. I would say my work personally comes from the opposite. However, who I´m to judge whether my work is good art. I leave that response for the viewer.

You are currently living in Edinburgh. Is there a special place, museum or gallery in the city, that you always return to for inspiration?

Edinburgh is an amazing city. Small – but without having to travel for hours you are able to go for hill walks, to the beach and these are locations that inspire my work greatly. We also have a collection of excellent galleries. The Fruitmarket Gallery and Ingelby Gallery. Each one always has a diverse collection of artists and are an inspiration to visit.

Thoughts or future plans that you would like to share?

I´m currently working on a series of larger works exploring shape and colour.  My next exhibition runs from the 3rd – 14th August in Delphian Gallery, London.

View more of Arran´s work on his website and Instagram.

WORDS Ingunn Eyþórsdóttir
PHOTOS Arran Rahimian