Maysaloun Faraj is an Iraqi-American London-based visual artist. Born in the United States (1955) to Iraqi parents, Faraj spent the first 13 years of her life in the US and moved back to her motherland, Baghdad in 1968. She attained a BSc degree in Architectural Engineering from Baghdad University (1978) then moved to London in 1982 where she furthered her art education. Faraj works in a variety of media 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 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. Maysaloun Faraj lives in London where she is currently working on large-scale sculpture and painting.
In my art I connect my roots in an attempt to build bridges between two cultures, East and West, articulating a complex web of references in my constructions informed by the traditions of both, architectural disciplines, spiritual and worldly observations. Maysaloun Faraj 2016