Anahita Diba

Anahita Diba is passionate about art and the way it mesmerizes her everyday life and shows her the beauty of the world in creation’s many forms. She is a self-taught artist who started with pen and paper whilst in detention and progressed to oils and water-colours. Anahita uses a variety of styles and her paintings are simply stunning.

Anahita Diba is from Tehran, Iran and came to Melbourne in December 2018 after spending 6 years in detention on the island of Nauru.

Whilst Anahita was on Nauru, she kept herself busy drawing and painting 8 hours a day. Eventually, she caught the attention of some of the staff who offered to purchase brushes and paints for her, so she could paint with colour and not just draw. It was then that she started selling paintings to the staff, teachers and their friends on Nauru and through Instagram. The word spread on the Island which led her to eventually becoming noticed. So, through word of mouth, was able to sell many paintings. Many of the staff even sent her art supplies to keep her going and to this day she has a lifelong friend in Daylesford, of one of the staff from the Island!

“Like any artist, I feel much better as I’m brushing colors gently and smoothly while I’m painting on a canvas to leave a masterpiece behind to be left as my history”.

During this time, Anahita also volunteered as an art teacher for children and adults in the Community Services area. Her English is very fluent and to improve, she wrote in her diary every day whilst on Nauru.

She had the opportunity to work with Ben Quilty and to collect some paintings from children in detention for a book that he was writing about life on Nauru and life in detention in general. This experience made her feel very honoured. She still has the children’s paintings.

In 2020 Anahita studied Cert iii in Allied Health Assistance, with completion due mid-2021. She has also completed VCAL studies in 2020 online.

Her goal is to become a better artist and to work in the field of nursing. She would love for her art to become more professional and to learn more about the arts community in Melbourne and wider Australia.

“In my last few years of migration from Iran to Australia, I focused much more on promoting my skills and attitude to take steps towards being closer to what I always dreamed of being, a great artist.”

“Spending the early part of my youth in a Refugee camp for almost six years is not probably the best teenage-hood decision to make, but all along the way there are still things worth to fight for.

I decided to never lose sight of my dreams therefore today I enjoy spending my time with people and things that introduce me today as the person who I really am.”

More information on my website (

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