After studying design, painting and drawing in Tehran, Elham, born in 1983 in Iran, continued her studies in France and eventually earned a doctorate in Fine Arts at the University of Strasbourg. She began to study painting at the age of 10 with private lessons in her hometown of Shiraz. Faced with restriction in living as a woman and artist, painting was the only means of expression, "a kind of oppositional language that allowed me to escape in extremis to an engineering career," says the artist. Inspired by the work of Roberto Mata, Francesco Clemente, Edouard Pignon, and in Iran, Rokni Haerizadeh, she uses acrylic, oil, pastel, and pencil even if she admits that she would go back to oil painting. All techniques are sufficient to give substance to her creativity.
Neither a figurative nor an abstract artist, she is at the frontier between the two. What she seeks is the thinking behind reality, "the bridge that links the visible to the invisible. What helps me get to that is the introduction of space; length, width and depth are three things I need to transfer onto the white surface, to find the invisible object that I've seen in the visible." Her departure to Belgium and France in 2010, and her status as an artist and woman in Iran remain key elements in her creative journey. Light, bright colour and space without perspective are also very characteristic of her art, which remains influenced by her country. Thus she focuses on Persian miniatures of the 19th century that relive in her works. "In the course of my work I want to show more Iranian outlooks, which I am now conscious of. This is through trips to France, because there I think more than ever about the characteristics of Iranian painting and composition, as well as many things like Iranian mythology and iconography, and the relationship between painting and literature."