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another side by Malekeh Nayiny 

Virtual Gallery

(continued from Art & Events)
My work in the past has been always created on my computer, a series of collage done by photoshop. Now I dared to start to paint images which came spontaneously on the surface of the paper as if they were ready to come to life. I was happy to use paints and brushes and making these primitive images and not worrying if they would be approved by others . After doing several of these paintings , I decided to go to a hypnotic session to explore on the deeper level my inner journey. In my alpha state, I see myself taking an elevator down the basement. When I come out, I hear cries and screams of prehistoric animals. I am frightened.It’s pitch black and I try to go back up but the elevator doesn’t work. I have no choice but to walk forward on this narrow path with my flash light. I realize that I am walking on mysterious illegible manuscripts. I continue on this path until i reach a room with no ceiling. Its daylight. On the walls there are traces of some words. I try to figure out how to un cover these words by splashing some water on them. At this moment , James Hillman appears .He starts talking to me and encourages me to pursue these paintings. He reassures me that his words will accompany me through this inner journey and he will help me out to share these with others.

Life Story

I was born in 1955 in Teheran, Iran. According to my family members, I was a very bad tempered baby. However, I improved a great deal around the age of three.

As a child I loved to play with the ants in our garden. Every day, I would feed them with sugar, watching how patiently they would carry each grain back to their homes. It was a group work. I would also save all the worms and insects that I found drowning in our small pool . It was very satisfying for me to see them survive, to spring back to life again.

During that period of my life, ages three to six, I longed to see the imaginary world that my sister would describe each time she put her head under the sheets.

I loved to draw and paint mostly Japenese houses with geishas fanning themselves and Indian chiefs sitting proudly next to their totems. I also enjoyed helping my sister to colour her beautiful illustrations.

I was never good at school, as my mind was always somewhere else, normally back in the garden, playing. My resulting grades were not very promising, and my parents grew very worried but I just did not seem to care.

When I turned 16, I insisted that I should be sent to England, as some of my cousins had. My family unwilling did send me, and it was there that I spent the worst years of my life. I hated my boarding school, and my English was too weak to be able to keep up in my classes. It seemed my only strenght was my art work, but only the imaginative type. My art teacher who despised me, would mock me, as I could draw neither a vase nor a tree.

I was later sent to Switzerland and enrolled in a mixed school, where they believed I was brilliant and put me straight into an advanced class.
It was lot’s of fun spending two years in this easy going school where I got my diploma.

Eventually, with much persistence from my part, I was sent to the States to do my bachelor degree.

I was very confused with what I wanted to do as a profession . I longed to be like my father, who was a doctor and helped people to get well. That was my life’s dream- to be useful to others.

As I was not very confident in my academic talents, I decided to study textile design and later on photography.
My teachers were very encouraging, and it was a breath of fresh air to experience such positive reactions to my work.

Photography became my passion. I concentrated on an old technique called photogramme and developed my own style in colour. It was a magical and mysterious process for me as it was based on putting transparent materials that one would never be sure how they would turn out on the paper.

After receiving my BFA, I longed to return home to Iran, but my parents discouraged me, for the Revolution had taken place. Lacking both enthusiasm and direction, and unsure of where else to go, I moved to Newyork, continued to study Photography, and began to exhibit my work.

I became very interested in doing a project on Coneyisland. I loved the surreal qualitiy of this environment and it’s people, and spent countless hours observing the Russian immigrants on the beach, engaging in their eccentric habits.

In 1989 I moved to Paris. I tried to find a colour darkroom in the city but my attempts were unsuccessful. So instead I began a series of paintings on china plates, which to my surprise became very successful. I continued producing a lot of designs but longed to go back to photography.

Several years later, I enrolled in a month-long workshop to learn the graphic design software photoshop, and was delighted to be drawn back into the field.

After the death of my parents, I did a photographic project based on my past and forgotten old family photos, it became a success. Many strangers bought my family photos.

During one of these exhibitions, I had my most touching and memorable experience- a guard who worked in the museum told me of a woman who often came to view my piece”Observation”, and each time she would be very emotional and cry in front of it.

My other projects were centered around the theme of homelessness, and during their production, I became friends with some of the homeless of the

city. It was a very rich experience. For me, this series of images although not as commercially successful, represent my strongest accomplishment.

For now, I continue to do work that can touch other people’s hearts. I guess this is my way of being useful to others.


The Jung Society of Washington is dedicated to nourishing the human spirit and to serving the longing that comes to us in our dreams and in moments of hardship, imagination, struggle, and creativity.  We support the exploration of our own psychic depths and the primal impulse for personality integration that Dr. Carl Gustav Jung called "individuation".  With a psychological lens, we deepen the discussion of social issues, history, and current events.  We encourage the development of greater self-awareness and creative expression—individually, in relationships, and within the community. 

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Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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