Maysaloun FARAJ
Maysaloun FARAJ
ميسلون فرج

Maysaloun Faraj is an Iraqi (American born) London-based visual artist. Faraj spent the first 13 years of her life in the US and moved back to Baghdad in 1968.  She attained a BSc in Architectural Engineering from Baghdad University (1978) then moved to London in 1982 where she furthered hereducation in art.  Faraj works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and ceramics.  Her work is in notable private and public collections including the British Museum, Rotterdam Wereld Museum, National Museum for Women in the Arts (USA), Jordan National Museum (Amman), Barjeel Art Foundation (UAE), Al-Mansouria Foundation (Paris), Aga Khan Foundation (Canada), Hussain Harba Collection and important others. 

In 1995 Faraj founded Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art / iNCiA (International Network for Contemporary Iraqi Art); a project encompassing a touring exhibition (UK/USA 2000-3) and the  SOG book, of which she is editor.  In 2002 she founded Aya Gallery (London) and curated important exhibitions with focus on Iraqi art.  In 2008 Faraj was invited to serve as a judge for the first Arab Art and Culture Award in the UK.  After years dedicated to bringing Iraqi Art to the fore, gaining the interest of world museums, collectors and international auction houses, she decided that time was due to focus on her own art.  This culminated in the solo exhibition Boats and Burdens: Kites and Shattered Dreams 2009, which was inaugurated by Venetia Porter, curator of Modern Middle East at the British Museum.  In 2015 Faraj took up residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris 2015 which resulted in Bird Symphony

In her work Maysaloun Faraj connects her roots in an attempt to build bridges between the two cultures, East and West, articulating a complex web of references in her constructions using the traditions of both, architectural disciplines and spiritual and worldly observations.  Maysaloun Faraj lives in London where she is currently working on large-scale sculpture and painting.


2016 Abu Dhabi Art: Ayyam Gallery UAE

2015 Resident Artist Cité Internationale des Arts Paris France
2014 Get Acquainted ­ Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial ­ Sixth Edition UAE
2010 One Thousand and One Nights William Paterson University New Jersey USA

2009 The Recessionists British Art and Art from the Middle East Somerset UK            
-      Creativity vs Destruction: Stories of Iraqi Art Reel Iraq Roxy Art House Edinburgh Scotland   

2008 Iraq's Past Speaks to the Present British Museum London
-      Word into Art British Museum and DIFC Dubai UAE   
2006 Occupied Space: Art for Palestine Palestine Solidarity & Qattan Foundation London

2004 Seed Body & Soul: Artists Against Depleted Uranium Earls Court London

2003 Cities of Iraq: Samarra to Baghdad (Islamic Culture in Focus) British Museum London
-      Diversity in Harmony University of Michigan Dearborn USA

-      Before After Now: Visions of Iraq Deluxe Gallery Hoxton Square London
2002 Islamic World Painting Biennial Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Iran
-      Calligraphy Beit al-Quran Manama Bahrain                                                                       

 -      Masterstrokes, October Gallery London UK                                                                         

2001 Contemporary Arab Art Wereldmuseum Rotterdam Netherlands                                   

2000/3 Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art Tour UK & USA: Brunei Gallery SOAS London, Exeter University, Hotbath Galleries Bath, Grinnell College Iowa, DePaul
University Chicago
2000 Arab Cultures: Young Worlds British Museum London
1999 Artists for Human Rights Durban South Africa                                                                   

-      Dialogue of the Present Tour London Brighton and Brunell
1998 20th Anniversary of Egee Art Soni Gallery London
1997 Homage to Jewad Selim Kufa Gallery London
-      Art in Hammersmith Riverside Studios London                 
-      Breaking Down the Boundaries Pits Hanger Gallery London                                              

1996 Eastern & Icelandic Art: William Morris Centenary Wimbledon Library London
1995 Arabian Eyes: Arab Women Art Bait al-Sirkal Ministry of Culture & Information Sharjah UAE
1994 Forces of Change: Artists from the Arab World National Museum for Women in the Arts: Tour    Washington Chicago California
-      Culture & Continuity Midlands Art Centre Birmingham
1992 Out of Iraq Camden Lock Market London
-      Arab Womens' Art Festival Rose Issa and Kufa Gallery London
1988 Baghdad International Biennial Saddam Art Centre (formerly) Baghdad
-      126th Annual Society of Women Artists Westminster Central Hall London 
1986 Contemporary Arab Art Mall Galleries Arab States League London


2009 Boats and Burdens: Kites and Shattered Dreams Ayagallery London                              

1995 Once Upon a Culture SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies) London                        

1994 Oriental Delight Trocadero London                                                                             

1992 Sisters in Harmony River Gardens London                                                                  

1991 Faith Argile Gallery London                                                                                       

1990 Ya Rab Rochan Gallery Motcomb Street London                                                            

1989 Home Sweet Home Artists Studio Baghdad                                                                   

1987 Nostalgia Artists Studio London                                                                                 

1985 Vibrations from my Past Espace 2000 Paris  


- Al-Mansouria Foundation, Paris France 

- The British Museum London UK  
- The National Museum for Women in the Arts Washington USA
- Rotterdam Werldmuseum the Netherlands  
- The Barjeel Foundation UAE
- The United Nations Geneva Switzerland  
- University of Michagan-Dearborn USA
- Jeddeh International Airport Saudi Arabia
- HRH Prince of Wales London UK
- The late Sir Wilfred Thesiger UK
- The Hussain Ali Harba Collection Italy & Iraq
- The Husri Collection Jordan
- The Basil al-Rahim Collection UK
- The Agha Khan Collection Canada & UK




Witness - Stolen Dreams - Part2
Witness - Stolen Dreams - Part1
Iraqioon - Maysaloun Faraj