Sabah Arbilli


Born in Iraq, Sabah Arbilli studied Masters in Visual Arts, at the University of Wales. 

Currently he is based in the UK and Qatar. He works as a full time artist mainly working with Arabic calligraphy using a variety of medium such as paint and sculpture.

Arbilli’s work as an artist constantly develops both technique and style. He has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows. His traditional calligraphy has won many prizes and he has been invited as an expert advisor and consultant in the world of calligraphy.

Arbilli has also done a series of outdoor public art pieces on architectural buildings and free standing stainless steel sculpture. His work was also selected as a permanent piece for the opening of the Islamic Museum of Australia and United Nations.

Arbilli’s work is created out of an urgency to communicate trying to find the most cogent language through the use of the Arabic letter as an agent for allegorical narration which investigates, but does not firmly establish, moral precepts.

'The words in my work challenge you to explore the text, work your way around the meaning looking at the colour, composition and space. The secret thought of the audience prods to make you think beyond the often superficial messages beneath the surface.' Not claiming answers but rather posing questions leading the viewer to revalue of the theme. Early works reveal a traditional concept of style which is required to understand the rules and discipline required to the theory. Arbilli moved towards making pieces that mirror advancements in painting and eventually abstract compositions. Throughout his career, Arbilli experimented with different media on paper, canvas and sculpture alternating the same themes.

Each area of his work represents a personal connection related to his journey in life from Iraq to the UK.  In his works represent his footprints which fade over time and vanish like the societies and existence around us like a vanished world.  His statements in expression are powerful envisaging change, life, politics and man-made of circumstance. A deeper meaningful look into his paintings, unravel a mystery in journey in which you can see the struggle of people over lands which are blessed and cursed.

Arbilli’s works can be found in the Middle East and Internationally in many private collections, architectural buildings. His works are categorised in representation, reproduction and revisiting the concept of Arabic letter and calligraphy to a new modern international platform.