Farhad Ahrarnia is an Iranian-British artist, based in Shiraz and Sheffield. He adopts and draws knowledge from an extensive variety of craft making techniques relevant to his localities. Through a rigorous methodology of citing art historical references, particularly those of Saqqakhana (a movement from the 1960's where the then contemporary artists tapped into Iranian Popular Culture, traditional craft and Persian artefacts), Russian Constructivism and Surrealism, he continues to dissect and re-articulate the spirit and experience of modernity and modernism in contexts other than exclusively Western. Thus entangling, twisting, complicating and interrupting the established art historical categories, narratives and dichotomies.



Farhad Ahrarnia (b. 1971, Shiraz, Iran) holds a degree in Experimental and Documentary Film Theory and Practice from the Northern Media School, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. 

Select solo shows include Twisting The Modern, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2019; Art in Another Language, Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, 2019; Something for the Touts, the Nuns, the Grocery Clerks and You, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2017; Manouchehri Merchant House, Kashan, 2016; A Dish Fit for the Gods, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2015; Stage on Fire, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2014; Canary in a Coal Mine, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2014 and Stitched, Leighton House Museum in collaboration with Rose Issa Projects, London, 2008. 

Ahrarnia has participated in several group shows including: Art Dubai with Lawrie Shabibi, 2022; The Human Image: Art, Identities and Symbolism, CaixaForum, Seville, Spain, 2022; Punk Orientalism, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, 2019; MATERIALIZE, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2019; Artissima, Dialogue sector, with Lawrie Shabibi, Torino, Italy, 2018; Each Day an Artist, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2018; Scripted Reality, Lawrie Shabibi, 10 Hanover, London, 2018; Works on Paper, Editions and Multiples Spring 2018, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, 2018; Shirin Gallery, Tehran, 2016; Abu Dhabi Art, with Lawrie Shabibi, 2016; Recentring Modernism, Insights Sector, Art Basel Hong Kong with Lawrie Shabibi, 2016; Serpentiform, Museo di Roma, 2016; Open Your Eyes, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2014; Embroideremania, Hinterland Kunzt Art for Vienna Art Week, 2013; Bringing the War Home, Winchester School of Art, 2013; The Beginning of Thinking is Geometric, Maraya Art Centre and the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, 2013; #COMETOGETHER, Edge of Arabia, London, 2012 and Migrasophia, Maraya Contemporary Art Centre, Sharjah, 2012. 


He has previously participated in The Great Game, Iranian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2015; the 6th Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2011; the Sheffield Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007 and Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany, 2007. 

His work is in several collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (LACMA); Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; the British Museum, London; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; Harewood House, Leeds; The Mohammed Afkami Collection, Dubai and the Huma Kabakci Collection, Istanbul; The Farjam Foundation, Dubai, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Ahrarnia lives and works between Shiraz and Sheffield.