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 Through a rigorous methodology of citing art historical references, particularly those of Saqqakhana (a movement from the 1960's where the then contemporary artists tapped into Iranian Popular Culture, traditional craft amd 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 was born in Shiraz in 1971.  He 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; Stitched, Leighton House Museum London, 2008; Stitched, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2008.


Ahrarnia has participated in several group shows including: 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, London, 2018; Works on Paper, Editions and Multiples Spring 2018, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, 2018; Recentring Modernism, Insights Sector, Art Basel Hong Kong, with Lawrie Shabibi, 2016; Serpentiform, Palazzo Braschi, Museo di Roma, Rome, 2016; The Great Game, Iranian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015; What kind of Modern, Sheffield Fringe, 2014; The Beginning of Thinking is Geometric, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, 2013; Embroidermania, Hinterland Kunzt Art for Vienna Art Week, Vienna, 2013; Bringing the War Home, Winchester School of Art, 2013; Cometogether, Edge of Arabia, London, 2012; Migrasophia, Maraya art Centre, Sharjah, 2012; Quotations from Daily Life, 6th Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2011; Zendegi: Twelve Contemporary Iranian Artists, Beirut Exhibition Center, 2011; Contemporary art: the territory of the artist and society, 6th Tashkent Biennale, Tashkent, 2011; Bringing the War Home, Impressions Gallery, Bradford, 2010-12; Balla Drama, Paradise Row Gallery, London, 2009; A Picture of Us, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, 2009) and Sheffield Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 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 Afkhami Collection, Dubai and the Huma Kabakci Collection, Istanbul, Turkey.


Ahrarnia lives and works between Shiraz and Sheffield.