Sara Rahbar left her birthplace during the period of immense upheaval that followed the revolution in Iran and the start of the Iran-Iraq war. While her works had initially explored deeper concepts of nationalism and belonging, her overall artistic practise stems from her personal experience and is largely autobiographical – driven by central ideas of pain, violence and the complexity of the human condition.
Rahbar’s work employs various mediums – ranging from photography, sculpture and installation. Compelled by an instinctive obsession to piece together and dissect, her approach is reflective of her need to deconstruct these emotions and apocalyptic memories that have molded her into the artist and activist she is today.
There is a juxtaposition between the iconographic elements that are ever-present in her work, and the materials that she actively collects. It narrates a dialogue that directly ties to the objects and symbols in which we place faith. Her many compositions form and act as a tangible, physical cacophony of the relationship between individual and society by drawing upon Rahbar’s history and her indignation at the absurdity of organized religion, deception of political regulations, inhumane cruelty towards mankind and animals.
Rahbar has exhibited widely in art institutions including but not limited to Queensland Museum, Sharjah Art Foundation, Venice Biennial, The Centre Pompidou and Mannheimer Kunstverein, and her works are included in the permanent collections of the British Museum, The Centre Pompidou, Queensland Art Gallery, The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and the Sharjah Art Foundation amongst others.