My Life and Art I come from an Armenian family and was born in 1943 in Teheran. When I was about nine years old, the employee of an oil company took us to an agricultural world exhibition. We were twelve children in the back of a truck. It was evening, and we drove under a night sky lit with stars. There were cows and sheeps from Australia at the exhibition, but I was more interested in a small wooden hut. The inside it was decorated with the usual oriental style, with sitting cushions on the floor, but these cushions were covered by an unusual checkered European fabric. I never forgot them, they were perhaps one of the reasons why I chose to become an interior designer. We had an attic in our house in Teheran. This is where I used to  retreat to read, sew and paint. On my way to secondary school, I used to passe by a beautiful villa with balconies full of flowers. On the roof, I would see young girls painting. They did not wear the customary school uniform. I later learned that this was the Arts and Crafts School for girls. After secondary school I signed up for it and - oops! - passed the entrance test. The subject of this test was a nude plaster sculpture of Herakles (!). We were asked to make a drawing of it. The pupils who had come for the test, all girls, were very ashamed, and the professor who was testing us – the well-known artist Ostad Mahmoud Javadipour – asked in amazement: "Why do you all draw the back of the sculpture?"
I studied three years at the Arts and Crafts School and then passed on to the Arts Department of the University of Teheran from where I graduated as an interior designer. After two years of mandatory military service as a teacher in a girls' school in South Teheran, I worked in two renowned architectural firms. After the marrying to my Swiss husband and after the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution we moved to Switzerland. We had two sons. I pursued my studies at the Zurich School of Design, which offered a great range of courses. To this day I have never given up painting. For several years now I have been organizing exhibitions for Armenian and Iranian artists in Switzerland. This was made possible thanks to my husband who helped me a great deal, and also to the accommodating Swiss authorities who made these events possible by facilitating the transfer of art objects. Apart from these projects, I also had an exhibition of my own artworks. In Switzerland, I came into a new world and learned to see things from a fresh perspective. This has influenced my artistic development. I paint with different mediums, and I am particularly proud of my nudes in watercolor. To a certain extent, I understand my own art as „naive“ art. At times I manage to go back to my own roots and create the expression of my personal feelings in an immediate act.   Alvart Siegrist-Tounians   Copyright by Alvart Siegrist 2016   Homepage-Design by Andre Siegrist www.artizm.ch
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