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Baghdad, Iraq
Abstract painter and mosaic artist Abbas Makrab was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1967. Makrab recalls spending much of his childhood competing with his four brothers, each trying to capture the best still lifes or family portraits. His brothers inspired him to follow his creative pursuits as an artist. In Iraq, Makrab regularly featured in the local newspaper as a caricaturist. In 1992, he graduated from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in painting. During his art education at the College of Fine Arts, Makrab was also trained in mosaics. From 1992 to 2000, Makrab exhibited his abstract paintings in exhibitions such as 'Art from Mesopotamia’ at the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad, and the International Babylon Festival at Baghdad Arts Centre. In 1999, he travelled to Jordan where he stayed for three years and hosted his first solo exhibition, 'Seazeef’, at the Orient Gallery, Amman, Jordan. On the 28 September 2001, Makrab immigrated to Australia. He began working on public art projects in 2003, initially with Fairfield City Council, which in that year commissioned him to design and create thirty-six ceramic panels for fourteen planter boxes lining both sides of the main road of Smithfield. His roots in abstract painting inform the designs and colours of the planter boxes. In 2005 Fairfield City Council invited Makrab to design and engineer four mosaic panels for three new concrete seats to be located around the children’s playground area in Day Street Park, Lansvale. According to the artist, local bird-watching groups and his workshops with the children of a district public school, Lansvale East, inspired the three parrot designs featured on the seating. In 2008 Makrab graduated from the National Art School, Sydney, with a Masters of Fine Art (majoring in painting) and in the same year he won a competition to design and create mosaic artworks for Blacktown City Council. The mosaics featured on four retaining walls located at the centre of a large roundabout on Carlisle and Woodstock Avenues. The plethora of blue hues used in the work, he says, reflects the uniqueness of the Australian sky, which is unlike Iraq or Jordan. In addition to working with local councils on community workshops and public art sculptures, Makrab has also exhibited in public and commercial galleries including Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula (2003), MLC Gallery, Sydney (2004 and 2006), Blacktown Arts Centre, Blacktown (2005), Mura Clay Gallery, Newtown (2006), and Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown (2007). Writers: Kirkman, CamilleDe Lorenzo, Catherine Date written: 2009 Last updated: 2011
b. 1976
Born in Baghdad in 1967 Abbas Makrab is an abstract painter and mosaic artist living and working in Sydney.
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