A successful beginning to the year for Caspian Arts Foundation; they held their inaugural panel discussion on the 23rd January at Sotheby’s, London with a notably distinguished panel including Dr Anthony Downey, Director of the Master’s Programme in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art; Mark Dunhill, Dean of Art at Central St Martins UAL; Dr Alireza Nourizadeh, Director of the Centre of Arab and Iranian Studies; Omar Al Qattan, founder of The Qattan Foundation & The Mosaic Room and Dr Menis Yousry, founder and lead facilitator of the Essence Foundation. Issues discussed ranged from the political to the psychological and environmental. They all contributed to an eloquent and provocative discussion about the relationship between art and cultural integration, human expression and emotions, the importance of the teacher–pupil relationship; each putting a unique intellectual spin on their thought provoking points.

A poised and elegant introduction was given by Alia Al Senussi, a key CAF committee member and a champion supporter of the Middle Eastern Art world. Ensuring a charismatic energy and audience of 80 people that attended, some shared interesting points and experiences which coaxed the panellists to delve further into the discussion and raise new points that provided food for thought.

Caspian Arts Foundation was founded in 2011 by Nina Mahdavi, who is a keen supporter of creating homogeneity between and amongst cultures. She founded the charity not only to assist aspiring artists from the MENA region to realise their dreams by completing an MA in fine art, film, photography or fashion, but also to create an organisation that welcomes and recognises all cultures within the region, and so actively taking part in the movement to redefine what is known by ‘The Middle East’.

For more information take a look at their website, or visit their Facebook or Twitter page. For all press related information and queries email 


All images copyright of Caspian Arts Foundation ǀ All rights reserved ǀ

For any press related enquiries please call +44 (0) 20 7832 1359 or email



Click on the links below for advice and expert opinion on getting into Art school and surviving it! Good luck all, and if you require information from CAF get in touch by emailing us at

'Getting an art degree will give the right skill and abilities to making a living out of what you love, as well as help you meet people and mentors who share your passion' (Christina Macres:ArtBistro:2013)
If you want to read the rest of Christina Macres's article entitled 'How to get into Art School' click here.

For some helpful tips of getting your portfolio ready click here.

For the UAL student survival guide click here.

Read some great articles by an array of writers on 'Surviving Art School' by clicking here.



Untitled 3, 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, 150X200cm
Image Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line
Born in Tehran, Golnaz Fathi is the epitome of dedication and innovative expression; she is a self taught painter and has spent year on year perfecting her calligraphic hand.

Untitled 6,2012, Acrylics on Canvas 150X200cm
Image Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line
Fathi’s devotion to the art of calligraphy is unparallel; she gained a Diploma in Iranian Calligraphy from the Iranian Society of Calligraphy (ISC) in Tehran and was later awarded the Best Female Calligraphist by the ISC. However like a true master she has taken her expression of the style of writing to new heights; she is keen to emphasize the aesthetic beauty of the shapes produced by the writing style rather than the literal word.Together with her strong brushstrokes and vibrant colours Golnaz combines her unique calligraphic style to create a visual explosion on her canvas that is non- other than authentic.

Untitled 4, 2012, Acrylics on Canvas, 150X200cm
Image Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line
Her upcoming exhibition at the Third Line Gallery is entitled ‘Falling leaves’ and it opens on Tuesday 22rd January and runs up until March 7th.  The body of work was inspired from the Iranian text of ‘Shahnameh’ and its central theme. The 'Shahnameh' or ‘the Epic of Kings’ was written by Ferdowsi the Persian poet between c. 977 and 1010.AD. It is the national epic of Iran and tells the tales of Persian heroes. Golnaz is keen to assert that the futile nature of the wars is still relevant today in the Iran she knows. In terms of aesthetics, her collection strays from her usual abstract approach to a more figurative approach; however she maintains her signature calligraphic style.

For more information on Golnaz Fathi and The Third Line click here.

To listen to Golnaz herself click here for interviews on her and her work conducted by 
Fari Bradley Six Pillars 



CAF’s call for writers/editors is officially open; we are searching for anyone that is interested in publishing reviews or feature articles related to Middle Eastern art. The articles will be published on the CAF newsletter and website, so writers will have the opportunity to showcase their pieces to a large audience.

In addition to written articles we are interested in anyone that wishes to represent information in alternative ways be it photography, videos and other creative forms that are able to be viewed on the web.

The CAF newsletter is published every two months, so submissions will need to be sent to by the first Friday of every second month starting in January 2013.

Thank-you and we look forward to your submissions!