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I am alive now…I am here…I am present at this moment celebrating truth and light and purity and nature…..”

Saya Behnam understands the preciosity of life, as well as its fragile nature.  Ever moving, ever shifting, life can only be perceived in the absolute present, always shaped by what has come before.  “There are no absolutes as to how we might interpret a moment”, affirms the artist.  “Everything in this moment is based upon your perception of it, and that perception is constantly shifting.” 


It is this duality that the artist is presenting and exploring in each new series.  It is a world of ever shifting perceptions anchored in symbols of eternality that are constant and pure. Here she claims trust.  Impeccable and everlasting in their purity, the circle and gold create a spiritual visual architecture that forms a concrete basis for what on the surface might seem ever changing and therefore unstable.


Whereas Saya Benham’s “Gold Leaf” series is concerned with concepts of sacred geometry and material purity, the "Saffron, Tea and Spice Series"  goes into the essence and truth of who she is as a living being.

“My breath is like a wind in nature and these stigmas go wherever they want…my canvas becomes the receiver of my breath of life…capturing it’s essences in a gentle spray of color and form”


The artist uses such natural dry mediums as saffron, hibiscus, borage tea, henna, and coffee to create her colors.  These dried herbs and spices are steeped in hot water until they create the tones that the artist wishes to use.

As Saya applies each color layer with Chinese brushes, a chemical interaction with the previous color layer occurs, creating further nuances of delicate tones. This process creates an element of uncertainty with all the possibilities of colors as they mix; yet the artist is in control as well. 


“The circle and gold guided me into something pure and minimal, where the real truth underlies all things…they are impeccable, and nothing can change that!  Gold is triumphant, brilliant, and stunning.  A symbol of life, wealth, happiness, and status; its rapture is one of victory.  I feel gold is a sign of something beyond you, and you want to be a part of that.”


Inserted in her works, sometimes hidden amongst the fragments of gold leaf are written phrases in Farsi, Saya’s native tongue.  Repetitions of “I am here”, or “being” affirm her declaration of life as the moments of creation move into time. Yet the artist confesses to feeling a force flowing through her that is “doing things and I don’t recognize where that comes from.  It’s a knowing that shows up, and that makes my vision and perspective wide; I know it’s so universal..that it’s not just me who is doing the creating. I believe it is a cosmic force of life!”

 Essay by Manya Fabiniak


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