And There Were Gardens.......

Jan 2020, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The installation is a presentation of a landscape with actual fragments from the artist’s immediate environment and references to her imaginary garden, a vision of a dream, a fragment.

Dancing on Stilts

March 2020, Signs and Symbols, New York, USA

Dancing on Stilts & traversing the soggy ground
the blue sky is in the faraway horizon
and the memories of that fertile land is running in my veins.

- Shaqayeq Arabi

Signs and Symbols is pleased to present Dancing on Stilts, a solo exhibition by artist Shaqayeq Arabi. The exhibition features a site-specific installation composed of found objects and natural, symbolic material, combining sculpture with painterly elements to allude to shifting relationships between representation and abstraction, memory and materiality, structure and sensation. Read more...

Photos & video by Dariush Zandi

Fragments, notes & lines

November 2018, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE


Shaqayeq Arabi’s installations investigate the fragmentary nature of memory and its relationship to actual objects in order to manipulate the understanding of our physical spaces. By combining sculpture with painterly qualities, her work points to shifting relationships between representation, abstraction and materiality. The exhibition encompasses drawings, paintings and sculptures by three artists: Fereydoun Ave, Shaqayeq Arabi and Ali Razavi.

Roots II

April 2017, Dastan's Basement, Tehran, Iran

“Roots” is a work about the concentration of energy in winter roots. Subterranean is the atmosphere; the life-force becoming dense. “Roots” is a show about earth at winter, its nurturing powers and the respect it deserves as a sacred element. It is the mother that gives birth in the spring. The two artists, Fereydoun Ave and Shaqayeq Arabi, despite having worked separately, have observed the same properties in roots and how essential they are to connecting man to its nurturing source: Earth. Following the exhibition at Total Arts at the Courtyard (Dubai, UAE), this is the second time “Roots” is being shown. Arabi, due to her installation being site-specific, has created it at the gallery.


February-March 2017, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran


“When I look back, the Garden is a dream to me. It was surpassingly beautiful, and now it is lost, and I shall not see it anymore.”

- The Diaries of Adam and Eve, by Mark Twain


Imagine the sensation of place. Not of a vibrant visual assault of colours and shapes, but of a feeling. An impression that tugs on your heart strings. An impression that is hinted at in its very absence. Felt in its loss. Heard in the soft rustle of foliage unseen. The gentle caress of a breeze on your cheek and sounds half-heard somewhere on the edges of your mind. Mohsen Gallery is pleased to announce “Elsewhere” an experiential solo exhibition by Shaqayeq Arabi, which sees the artist take over the 2 x 3 x 10 meter Pasio space of the gallery. “Elsewhere” will connect sky to ground through a sensory installation that engages with the intangible space between the real and unreal, waking and dream, that which exists and that which has been lost forever. Read more...


May 2016

A totem is a spirit being, a sacred object. Each human is thought to have a spiritual connection or a kinship with another physical being, such as an animal or plant, often called a “spirit-being”.

Suspended - Hanging Garden

December 2015, Curated by Behrang Samadzadegan and Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran


Works assembled in this exhibition are products of poetic subjectivity of their creators; works that travel through time and space and are unrestrained by the realities of the world. Defying gravity (both as a natural force and in the complexity of a situation), in form and concept, these group of works suggest motion and fluidity and by blending what is stable and what is mobile, gracefully portraying the uncertainties of our era and world in general.

Study of an Upturned Ziggurat 

October 2015, Curated by The Dept. of Signs and Symbols, Brooklyn, New York, USA

The Dept. of Signs and Symbols is pleased to announce the exhibition: Study of an Upturned Ziggurat, Shaqayeq Arabi’s first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition will feature a site-specific installation made through an intuitive process of assembling urban and organic objects found and collected by the artist. The installation explores notions of transformation, intuition and the intersection of the urban and the natural. Read more...


November 2014, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE

Roots is a two-person show of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works: Shaqayeq Arabi whose three-dimensional installations are about being uprooted from mother earth. Fereydoun Ave’s works are two-dimensional mix media on paper and canvas about the concentration of energy in winter roots; Subterranean is the atmosphere, the life force becoming dense. This is a winter show about earth, its nurturing powers and the respect it deserves as a sacred element. It is the mother that gives birth in the spring. The two artists even though they have worked separately, have observed the same properties in roots and how essential they are to connecting man to its nurturing source, earth. As two Iranians who have been uprooted from their motherland and have had to lay down roots elsewhere they have experienced first hand this trauma.

Memories Within

November 2012, AB Gallery, Switzerland

Picture a landscape that bears the scars of drought: A pale, dusty horizon of dried out, desiccated palm trees. Some still stand, like scarred and twisted Greek columns, while others, bent under their own weight, have fallen, deformed and warped in various states of collapse – an army of skeletal remains of what was once a lush, verdant oasis.

It was this landscape that inspired Shaqayeq Arabi’s series, Memories Within. Passing through the scene of decay, she was incited to recreate an image of what the trees once were – a sense of compassion causing her to collect dried bushes and plants whose stricken roots still remained rooted in the dry soil. Preserving them became a way for Arabi to extend their life, capturing a moment and honoring their memories, harking back to what they once were, finding beauty even in their death and in doing so, allowing them to bloom again.

Sinking Ships

April 2012, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE

The dhow, once the lifeblood of the UAE, has, with the onset of today’s fast-paced way of life, diminished in importance. Today many of these majestic boats are abandoned and derelict, left prey to the elements until they fall apart. As the old generation passes away, and with it, its seafaring history, and modernity and progress take over, these great behemoths of the sea now lie at the bottom of sandy graves, covered by the rolling coastal dunes or buried beneath the shifting tides. Read more...

Rolled Canvases

July 2010, Curated by Fereydoun Ave, Aun Gallery, Tehran, Iran

Made up of paintings (starched canvases), reliefs (folded canvases) and objects (creased canvases) this exhibition demonstated that although these individual elements may differ visually, together, they provoke questions and comparisons which guide the viewer to the concept of ‘Transformation’. Displaying these elements together leads the audience to the understanding of the process of Rolled Canvases. The significance of Rolled Canvases is the integration of the two mediums of painting and object making, which Arabi has been working in for the last ten years. This exhibition is the crossing point of these two mediums. Through the recycling of her old paintings/canvases, and by shaping and recomposing, she has transformed them into sculptures of new forms. Although they are newly created, traces of their original forms are still visible, like the memories within them and within the artist. Read more...


March 2009, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE

Scraps is a collaborative installation with found objects, sculptural works and photographs by Dariush Zandi and Shaqayeq Arabi. Entering the penumbra of the gallery space, with lights focusing on forms and objects hanging from the ceiling, displayed on the walls, standing on the floor, with photographic projections crossing the space and crossing within and among sculptural bodies and metal structures, one is first struck by the “theatrical” atmosphere and dramatic impact of the work. Read more...

Where am I standing?

March 2007, Dubai Dubai Exhibition, curated by Nadin Hammam, Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai, UAE

Shaghayeq Arabi examines the role of the ordinary man in his relationship to his surroundings. "By laying out the analogous object-like figures in space I investigate the issue the cryptogrammic nature of the ordinary man, juxtaposing notions of freedom and constraint, certainty and uncertainty, homogeneity and individuality".

The figures are suspended metaphorically in space, again, examining void through presence. "The particular and direct relation between architectural space with a steel rail and the men hanging still and fragile in space creates an insensitive feeling and intensifies the emotional force behind the work". With the puppet-like frail structure of the figures, she creates a dynamic installation giving the audience the chance to either partake or not. She juxtaposes the notion of safety with danger by giving the viewer the power to pull the safety harness of the individual, causing them to move in what she calls "a non-safe space". The ordinary man is always in the power of someone else’s hands.