Malileh Afnan’s work appears ‘as a relic of an older civilization or an archaeological excavation into the collective psyche. The delicacy of Persian miniatures and manuscripts, which she remembers from childhood, is mirrored in her love for intimate scale and the refined beauty of muted colour’. Calligraphy plays an important role: images appear that suggest the written word. Works on paper and tablets of painted plaster are reminiscent of ancient, almost obliterated texts, and like palimpsests, retain only some vestige of literal meaning and an impression of human contact. Afnan has absorbed both Middle Eastern and Western influences. She has looked towards such artists as Pollock, Rothko, Dubuffet and Klee, and shares an affinity with the American artist Mark Tobey, who helped arrange the first European exhibition of her work in 1971.