"Shamsavari’s portraits create a connection between her subjects and the world, acting as a portal to a land where dignity and respect are the basis on which our humanity is met”
- Sara Rosen, Mandatory 2016
Sara Shamsavari is a British Iranian interdisciplinary artist, musician, photographer, designer and art director based in London. Her work has been exhibited internationally for over 20 years in museums and public spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museo Bardini in Florence and Lowe Museum of Art. Currently leading courses on Art Ethics and Social Change, Sara regularly lectures on art, photography, migration and identity at Central Saint Martins and LCF as well as being a visiting lecturer at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her work has been widely published in books and media including Aperture, Guardian , New York Times and the BBC.
Born in the midst of the Iranian Revolution, Sara recovered from infant cancer while fleeing war and impending persecution of her family in Iran and was granted asylum at the age of two in the UK where she and her family have resided ever since. Her early experience surviving war and her rich Iranian heritage and upbringing as a foreign child from a refugee background in the UK shaped her perspective and continue to inform her artistic subject matter.
Shamsavari explores themes of global identity, inclusion and transformation. Several of her photographic projects centre around challenging stereotypes and common preconceived judgements based on labels including appearance, culture, religion and sexuality. Her abstract expressionist paintings are personal spiritual reflections of her own journey as a refugee and migrant in London and the ongoing trauma faced by refugees and minorities around the world. Sara is launching her first capsule collection ‘Kimiya’ with Vizz Jewelry in 2021. The collection promotes the importance of freedom to be ourselves without fear of persecution, oppression or judgement.