Maryam Hashemi

About the artist

Maryam Hashemi
Maryam Hashemi

Paint, Drawing, Performance, Installation, Illustrate

United Kingdom

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I'm a multidisciplinary artist based in London .My work is rooted in my upbringing in Iran and layered with my colourful mesh of magick and fantasy. My paintings are windows to other dimensions and I'm always keen to experiment and collaborate with other artists and create an going dialogue with the viewers through my work. 

I create visual art, textile and performance and believe my work is a tool for healing and connection.




Art making has always been part of Maryam.  It started as a form of a companion, her only way to seek approval and a way to face her fears of war while growing up in Iran.

She studied B.A in graphic design which helped her develop her painting style. After the graduation she took a huge step of moving to the U.K which proved to be much harder than she imagined to settle in London even though she had a British Passport for being born in the U.K.

She explored her passion for acting and performing and London provided her a great platform to stretch her interests and ushered her growth.

As her passion for analysing everything grew stronger she started noticing the deeper meanings in her work and the world around. Her paintings became a tool to explore and understand her world as well as windows to different complicated dimensions.

Her innate desire for weaving sometimes inspires a series of colourful tapestries made of old clothes which she sometimes wears or decorate her room with.  She sees them as a way of transforming and releasing emotions within her as well as a wonderful way to interact with others. In her self development journey she discovered that she creates not only to connect but also to heal herself and others.

The more she expresses her different aspects the Transdisciplinary Artist seems the most appealing category for her. Her desire is to create a spark in people and she believes that her art will open the way. 


She has been actively exhibiting in the UK and internationally in venues such as British Library,Barbican ,The OXO Tower and have been involved with many community art projects and cultural events such as Edinburgh Iranian Festival,The Big Draw, Refugee Week and SPILL festival. She has also worked on many commissions and projects for organisations such as Museum Of London, The Wallace Collection and The National Trust. 

She has been interviewd and featured by many TV programmes, radio shows and online magazines. The most exciting of all has been Making Art BBC2 which also highlights a project she did over three weeks period drawing on a van.

She was commissioned for creating original artworks for TV series The Capital (BBC1) by Eros Lynn also acted as the artist advisor on set. 





Exhibition History

2020  Live painting at Skronktronic, New River Studios
2019   Hallucinated Archive curated by Wayne Burrows, group show, Bonnington Gallery
2019   On/Off performance with WOTWOTWOT,Skronktronic
2019  Awakening the Goddess, live performance with KOOH, Skronkdance
2019  Transmission , improvised dance at Skronkdance
2018  Live painting at Skronkfest, New River Studios.
2017  Artists Draw a Line Under Torture,Oxo Tower
2017  Solo Show ,Willesden Gallery
2016  Solo show at Elahe gallery,Tehran,Iran
2016  Open studio at Hackney Wicked festival
2016  Persian Art Market ,The Family Museum, Eijsden,Netherlands
2016  India- international show of visual culture ,Lali Kala Academi,Bhubaneswar,India
2016  Exhibition and live painting Landmark Arts Centre,Spring Fair ,Teddington
2016  Exhibition and live demonstration for Plot Twist,Shoreditch Arts Club
2015  "Give Us A Smile"Charity Auction, Rag Factory
2015  Artists Drawing A Line Under Torture" ,Charity Auction,Barge House
2015  World Toilet Day,group show,Nude Tin Can, St Albans
2015  Feminism London 2015 group show ,Metropole London
2015  3rd London Iranian Theatre Festival ,Arts Depot
2015  Promenade Festival"Monsters ,Myths abd Mermaids"Isle of Sheppey
2015  Persian Art Market,The Family Museum,Ejsden,Netherlands
2015  "Capital"mini series by Kudos for BBC,commissioned artworks
2015  Exotica Suite, panel discussion,New Art Exchange ,Nottingham
2015  Edinburgh Iranian Festival,Summerhall
2014  Xmas open studios, Mother studios
2014  Parallax Art Fair,Chelsea Town Hall
2014  Inner tales of my outer shell, Westminster library
2014   "I am not a village" performance & film ,Hackney Wicked
2014  Open Studios at Hackney Wicked festival
2014  Exhibition and performance at Temple Studios, paddington
2014  Performance at Lumiere ,chatsworth,london
2014  Exhibition in Group show at Lumiere ,chatsworth london
2014  BBC 2 making art van artwork project ,london
2013  Exhibition at Flaxon Ptooch, Gallery & Hairdresser ,Kentish Town
2013  Group Show at Denbie's Gallery, Surrey
2013  POP up group show at Cre8 Gallery
2013  Exhibition at Other Cafe and Gallery
2012   ImaginHer ,exhibition with Kavita Labonne at 198 Gallery
2012  Chelsea Arts Society Exhibition at Chelsea townhall
2012  Luxury Goods festival,Reality of Art
2012  Show Case Cities group exhibition,Richmix, London
2012  Yellow Cake ,group exhibition at Ginglik ,London
2011  Luxury Goods festival , The Illusion of Art, Courtyard Theatre
2011  Yorkshare Waterways museum Exhibition with Tim Lewis.
2011  Group show at Ginglik ,London
2011  10 women painters from Iran after 10 years exhibition , Brussels
2011  Face Off, Exhibition with Haleh Jamali,Edinburgh Iranian Festival
2010  Exhibition at The London Canal Museum with Tim Lewis ,London
2010  Solo exhibition at Broadway Theatre , Barking
2010  Cafe Rustiqe, Tufnel Park , London
2010  Displaced, Solo exhibiton at Watermans Art Centre.
2010  A Moving Exhibition, group show,Vyner Street Gallery, London
2010  Luxury Goods festival, Courtyard Theatre, London
2010  Red Threatening sky theatre play ,London
2009  Retrospective exhibition, RISC, Reading
2010  Darband 89 group show,Ginglik, London
2009  Take a second look with Tim Lewis , London Canal Museum
2009  Luxury Goods festival ,The Value of Art, Foundry , London
2009  Peykan 88 group show , Nottinghill Art Club, London
2009  Solo show at Edinburgh Iranian Festival, Edinburgh
2006  Eastern Echos, exhibition with Saima Rsheed, Bhavan Centre
2006  Desire No Shackles,group show , D'Last Studios, Chicago
2006  BBC family history day, British library, london
2005  Group exhibition, Artzone,Edmonton
2004  Hejab, solo exhibition, Promenade gallery, Hornsey , London
2002  Solo exhibition, Haft Samar gallery, Tehran
2001  10 women painters from Iran ,Brussels
2001  Solo exhibition , Haft Samar gallery , Tehran

BBC2 Making Art

I was one of the 6 artists featured on this programme, it was aired on 21st May 2014.Thanks to everyone that worked very hard in making this programme it was a true joy working on this project.





Tools and Techniques




From idea to art


Persian Weekly's Exclusive interview



 Persian Weekly's exclusive interview with 

Maryam Hashemi the Iranian Artist based in London 

Masks & Veils

By : Honey Fereydoun Pour

Translation to English by Maryam Hashemi

Maryam Hashemi is an Iranian artist based in London.Her work is a reflection of her thoughts ,inspired by her subconscious mind and influenced by her femininity and personal point of view. In recent year Maryam have been creating valuable works of art. 

Her style of work wavers between " Magical Realism " and "Surrealism" and women are her main subjects but recently she has been focusing on "Self portraits".

Her watercolor and pencils works at the start of her career attracted a lot of attention but later on she also started using using acrylic on canvas.

Maryam studied " Graphic Design " at "Azaad university of Art & Architecture" in Tehran (1997-2002), while studying she had her first solo exhibition in 2001 in Tehran followed by other group and solo shows.She moved to London from 2002 and started exploring other fields such as theatre and performance for a few years but her focus went back to painting.She have been actively exhibiting in solo and group shows in London and other cities in England such as Edinburgh ( Edinburgh Iranian Festival) ,other European cities and The USA.

I personally visited her at the her studio for this interview.

-We know that you started drawing since you were very young and during the Iran and Iraq war, how much do you think this experience has shaped you as an artist?

Maryam: It has definitely been very effective.My art is based in my personality which is the result of all my experiences specially my experiences as a child which means the wartime has shaped me in a way. It may not be always very clear in my work but for example queue was one of those things that one could see in some of my paintings and I was very aware that it connected to the days during the war that we had to queue for buying absolutely everything ,another element is sand bags which could be seen in some of my works which is a reminder of the trenches,even the black veiled women that can be seen in so many of my paintings are connected to the street demonstrations that I remember from those days. Another thing that stayed with me since then is the fear of destruction which in a way has given my work a colourful darkness.Along the darkness of fear there is also colour which I believe it connects my time in our basement shelter .Those days people spent the night or sometime most of their times in their basements which I found ours it to be really coasy. There was a certain bond and connection between people in those days which I loved so much.

- Did you ever experience any problem exhibiting in 

Iran as a woman or because women were your subject matter ?

Maryam: I exhibited during the time that it was much easier for artists to show was during president Khatami and it was up to the galleries to decide if the works were suitable for public display so I think I was very lucky that I didn't have any issue exhibting my work.

- When you came to the UK after a short period of activity as a painter you decided to work in theatre and perfomence for a while and then you returned to painting again.Did this break add anything to your experience?


Maryam: after moving to London my work changed and moved to a new direction. The"Veils" really intersted which I had interst in it already but after being here I wanted to explore it further but after a while I got tired of working on the same theme and I felt what ever I did was a repeat of the previous work so I felt it's best if I separate myself from painting for a period of time and try something new. I always loved films and theatre and I had friends that worked in this field so I had the opportunity to gains some experience in this field which was very intersting and I could explore different sides of myself , I was always known as a painter to everyone and myself so I was very curious to know what else I'm capable of .The theatre and performance experience helped me to know myself better and added another layer to my work.

I think the main reason for the busy atmosphere in my works is that I want to show and explore different sides of myself ,I can see my childhood interior environment in most of my works ,I have the need to constantly portray the details of my environment .I went through a period of self exploration which happened for many reasons,I think age was one the main factors also being in a different environment helped me to break away from the mold that was placed on me for a long time .


- can you tell me about the date ,place and themes of your recent exhibtons ?


Maryam: My themes have always been changing but in recent years the themes are more connected to one another and there is more of a flow between them.for example my first exhibition in London I focused on veils which this element still remains in my works.My most recent exhibition was part of "Persian Art Market "in Ejsden ,Holland in "The Family Museum ".They were displaying veriaty of visual art and sculpture by Iranians from all over the world and it was the second year of this event.

Before this I had a short video in "Edinburg Iranian Festival "in Feb 2015 ,it was the first time I was showing video in show which was very exciting and I was one of 40 artists from around the world that were selected for the festival ,the group exhibition before that in Sept 2014 was in" Westminster Library" in central London with two other Iranain painters based in UK : Roya Khalili & Feri Kiasati.

Apart from exhibiting I also perfom and collaborate with other artists, my recent collaboration was during our open studios in " Hackney Wicked " festival which i collaborated with a friend on a live performance which is also going to be a film .


- As most of your works are about women in different Islamic covers ,where do you think is the place of Hejab in your work?Is representing the cover that was forced on you or does it have another artistic reasons?


Maryam: This is a question that I have also asked myself.Hejab has always been intersting for me as a visual form and also a garment and have always made me think. This is an element that have been part of our culture for a long period of time and in a country like Iran it's an important factor in the everyday life which requires time and attention .It is also very nostalgic for me and very much part of me and that is why is appears in my work.

There is also the psychological symbolism side of Hejab which could refer to desire to conceal or hide something for different reasons .This act of hiding could be because of shame or fear of judgement which I always had it in me and I'm very aware it now and my use of this element have become a lot less dominant .

In my recent works I have been working towards removing layers and revealing my true self .

- Could you tell me about your future events and also how people can follow your work?

Maryam: what I have confirmed for now is exhibiting in Brunai Gallery in "SOAS" from 14-16 August as part of a women conference also will be exhibiting in "Arts Depot" in September as part of "The British Iranian Theatre Festival "which is organised by "Saamhouse Theatre Group".

I haven't got fixed dates and details for the events after that yet but I always update my pages in social media and websites.

- Dear Maryam thank you for giving me your time do you have anything to add?

Maryam: I like to also thank you for this opportunity .