Athier communicates his diasporic experience as an Iraqi raised in London through his canvas, he describes his work as “an outsider’s but insider’s take on how to interact and understand the country”.  Traces of Iraq are embedded in Athier’s artwork, however, at the Beirut Art Residency his subjects increasingly reflect his current environment, as he explains; “life comes through the decay which is really beautiful, so that’s visually one of the things that I was most inspired about in Beirut”. His current project conflates the flag and the skewer as a symbol of conquering, however he contests traditional notions of the flag by skewering tattered pieces of fabric from the streets of Beirut; “I wanted to try and skewer decay, and the idea that anything can be conquered by anything. There’s something very unimportant about what goes into the land, and something very unimportant about what the land is”.

Athier Mousawi is a British Iraqi visual artist whose work over recent years has centered on posing unanswerable questions against undefined answers and forming a visual narrative between the two. Since graduating from Central St. Martins, London in 2007, the subject of much of his work has been Iraq and his diasporic relationship to his intrinsic yet foreign homeland.


Athier Mousawi

Dates of residency: September - November 2015
Born: 1982
Nationality: British/Iraqi  
Lives and Works: Between Paris, London and Istanbul
Education: MA in illustration at Central Saint Martins in London
Gallery: Ayyam Gallery
Selected shows:
2017 After DenudationAyyam Gallery, Beirut
2016 Machine HeartsAyyam Gallery, Dubai
2012 Domination, Hegemony and the PanopticonTraffic Gallery, Dubai
2011 Chasing Mirrors: My Portrait Shape by Shape, National Portrait Gallery, London