Maysaloun Faraj

Maysaloun Faraj, born in Hollywood in 1955.Maysaloun Faraj grew up between the USA (1955-68)Baghdad, where she obtained a BSc in Architecture from Baghdad University 1973-78)and London, where she furthered her art education and where she has been living and working since 1982. In her work, Faraj draws on her mixed heritage to contemplate the intersection of place and identity. Oscillating between 2-dimensional painting and 3-dimensional sculpture, she aims to illuminate, explore and visually articulate the complex dynamics between overarching societal concerns and the highly intimate; pondering on ‘spirituality’ and ‘what lies beyond’. Her work is in notable public collections including the British Museum (London, UK), National Museum for Women in the Arts (Washington, USA), Rotterdam Werld museum (the Netherlands), Agha Khan Collection (Canada/UK), Barjeel Foundation (Sharjah, UAE), National Museum (Amman, Jordan), Centre for Arab American Studies(Michigan, USA)as well as private collections including Hussain Ali Harba (Turin, Italy), Ali Husri (Amman, Jordan) and the late Basil al-Rahim (London, UK). Faraj’s love for Iraq and her passion to bring the worksofher fellow peers to the fore led to Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art (SOG),founded in 1995,a groundbreaking project comprising a UK-USA exhibition tour (2000-3), iNCiA (International Network for Contemporary Iraqi Art) and the seminal SOG publication of which she is editor. In 2002 she co-founded Aya Gallery (London) with her husband Ali Mousawi, curating important exhibitions with a 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