Shahane Hakobyan is an image and print maker based out of London. She has recently graduated from the London College of Communication, where she obtained a BA in Graphic and Media Design Illustration.
Shahane’s work is inspired by the people and cultural situations she relates back to her travels: the processes she works in, the merging of her thoughts with her movements, as well as abstract expressionist/expressionist artists that have inspired her. She has had the experience that many don’t have from a young age – She’s moved around from Armenia to St. Petersburg to Paris and Dubai. All of her travels are what define the majority of her work.
“‘Sleep Paralysis’ is a series of images representing the artists’ own personal experience of the phenomenon, the internal struggles, the psychological strains, and the horrifying ghostly presences which roam around the time of sleep. A second series of photographs are taken using models who resemble the artist, touching upon a theory by anthropologist Michael Winkelman. Winkelman suggests that we are predisposed to see human like spirits because our minds are accustomed to perceiving the world as having qualities like ourselves. Thus the terror and fear of being trapped inside our own bodies is only explained to ourselves, in our own minds, as that of a Stranger, an outside figure, in most cases a spirit.” These photographs represent a great emotional ordeal within the artist’s practice, expressing the core of her practice as well as what emotionally drives her, herself, within her work. The photographs twist and turn and reflect, allowing the audience to create an emotional response with the artist and to engage within her work.