Hadeel Azeez (Hadeel A. Dhahir Aldhaher), artist and Arabic language teacher, was born in Baghdad in 1981 to an Iraqi father and an Iranian mother. After attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, specialising in painting, she moved to Italy in 2003, shortly before the outbreak of the war in Iraq.
This period is marked by an embryonic phase of study and experimentation when Hadeel mainly focuses on portraits and takes part in collective exhibitions, including Le Donne del Mediterraneo (2007), held in the castle of Conversano, in the province of Bari. In this occasion she receives an important institutional recognition.
Since 2006 several solo exhibitions have been held in the Apulian context, such as Baghdad in the soul, held in the historic civic tower of Cisternino and Contemporary Figures (2007), held in the church of Sant’Anna in Altamura.
Between 2007 and 2009 she lives in London, a cultural center with a strong creative impulse. It is here where the contemporary art magazine, Rooms, publishes her painting If I had known the end I wouldn’t have started (2008).
These are years of progressive linguistic autonomy, when she is constantly looking for new expressive solutions.
Back to Italy, she carries out important artworks destined to become pivotal in her artistic reflection. Sculptures covered with mirror tiles allude to the multiple facets of being, which express the inevitable tension between self-awareness and fragmentation of the Self: a vital tension that – for Azeez – always produces bright and positive energy (Reflection and Retro-reflection, at the Tracce Gallery in Lecce, in 2009, and Reflections, at the Acrom Art Space in Taranto, in 2010).
2011 is the year of Infiniti Dettagli (Bari, Galleria Formaquattro) exhibition that introduces the first installations and new iconographies on canvas: enlarged anatomical details, accompanied by verses by Arab poets, which refer mainly to women’s bodies, to their experience, to their intimate desires.
In May of the same year, Rivelazioni in blu (Revelations in blue) is a solo show appositely designed for the Contemporary Gallery’s space in Rome, which welcomes the extraordinary participation of the Iraqi lutist Khyam Allami, in the presence of authorities of the Iraqi embassy in Italy.
Also in 2011, the intense exhibition activity sees the artist engaged in three installations in Sicily: Solitudine dai lunghi riflessi (Solitude with long reflections) at the new ethno-anthropological Museum of Solarino (where it is also shown the painting Qualche volta) and at the Exhibition Palace of the Province of Syracuse , in which she presents her first video-art and works with music and dance performances, and Identità Preservate at the Galleria dello Steri, once again in Syracuse.
Sensitive interpreter of the Arab Spring, in 2012 she took part in the Yalla Shebab Arab Film Festival, at the DB d’Essai Cineteatro in Lecce with The Rose Revolution, honouring the young revolutionaries.
In the same year, in Naples, the solo exhibition Transiti at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University (which houses the work entitled La luna) and the group exhibition in Castel dell’Ovo, Le ceneri della Fenice.
In May 2013, Sensi takes place at the Iraqi Embassy in Rome. This is an exhibition that hosts an important body of works from the last five years, among which A greeting to the motherland, owned by the embassy itself. It is divided into three descriptive sections – Sentire, Sentirsi e Sentire fuori e dentro di sé.
Between 2013 and 2018 she participated in various exhibitions in the Italia capital, including La mente artistica, at the Teatro dei Dioscuri al Quirinale (2014), where she had the opportunity to confront herself with young artists from various Countries. Also there is the personal exhibition Storia di una liberazione (History of a liberation) in the Horti Lamiani Bettivò contemporary art gallery (2018).
Her site-specific work was also held in 2014 at the MAAM, Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz_città meticcia/Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere in Metropoliz, a mixed city, Fuggiasco dalla mia casa alla mia casa (A fugitive from my home to my home), a work created on a large sliding door, which refers to any vain attempt to escape from oneself, from one’s inner home.
These are years of encounters, passionate research, in which Azeez’s style changes, evolves, giving birth to a new language made of infinite sinuous strands, mainly made with
the black ink of the ballpoint pen, which generate shapeless masses of extraordinary expressive power. A style, the latter, that dominates the 2019 exhibition, Intrecci d’arte, shown at the Gallery of Temple University Rome and at the Macro Asilo – a multifunctional space that transforms the museum into a vital and welcoming organism – she exhibits several works in the atelier room 2.
Convinced supporter of intercultural dialogue, she takes part in experimental projects such as the Matriarchivio del Mediterraneo, Grafie e Materie (M.A.M), a digital platform aimed at preserving the memory of emerging artists operating in the Mediterranean area, and the theatre performance Feminae forme elette (Rome, Sala Umberto, in 2018; Bologna, Teatro Duse, in 2019), a tribute to the creative power of women, for which she creates artworks on the stage.
Since 2017, her endless and prolific artistic path has been intertwined with the translation of poetic texts and the teaching of the Arabic language at the First level University Master in Oriental Languages and Cultures (MiLCO), the result of a collaboration between two Universities: the IULM and Third Pillar Foundation – International.
Scholar of Middle Eastern contemporary art, in 2019 she is a speaker at the conference “The power of art. The Middle East between history and development of art” at the Macro Asilo.
Hadeel Azeez lives and works in Italy.