Who are they?

Who is Abbas Zahedi?

Let's meet an artist!

Abbas Zahedi is an artist who grew up in Shepherds Bush, West London. He works with sound, installation and performance art. Abbas maps spaces and captures feelings through his artwork. He invites us to think about the memories of places or buildings, and different things we feel when entering a space.

Together with students from St Stephen’s Primary, Abbas explored his studio space and shared some of his journey to becoming an artist. The students had lots of questions, such as:

SS: When did you make your first art?

AZ: That was maybe ten-twelve years ago, I used to sit around with my friends in the fish and chip shop and talk about art and philosophy, and that kind of became an artwork – a sort of performance, a social project, conversational art.

SS: What inspired you to be an artist?

AZ: I actually didn’t know I was an artist... someone else who was already an artist, they told me what I was doing was art.

Can you think of any questions you'd like to ask Abbas? Or any places that you'd like to make artwork in?

Try it yourself:

You will need:

  • A camera and something to record noises like a phone or laptop
  • Your body
  • An outdoor or indoor space
  • A friend or caregiver


How could you map your space with photos? Lots of spaces might seem at ordinary at first because we are used to spending time in them. Try taking a moment to look at familiar places, objects, and rooms – what thoughts or feelings come up? You might be surprised at what you find!

This activity could be fun to do with a partner. In the video, two students notice that a photo made them both feel the same way. What feelings could you share with each other? How can you make connections with what someone else sees?


Another way of mapping is using sound. Abbas has special equipment like a microphone to make strange, unusual noises, but you can use everyday objects to make a sound you’ve never heard before!

Try taking an everyday surface like a door, table, or window. Knock on it with different rhythms – what can you hear? Is the surface saying something to you? Repeat this activity on lots of different objects with new shapes and textures. How does the sound change?

Now, draw the soundscape you’ve made. What shapes can you find? What colours are your sounds? How does the drawing feel to you?

Abbas Zahedi, 'How to Make a How From a Why', 2020
© Abbas Zahedi

A note for teachers

I think it's really important to learn how to translate feelings into works of art, even if they’re ephemeral, fleeting moments.” - Abbas Zahedi

Watch this film with your class to introduce them to a practicing contemporary artist and inspire them to make art of their own!

Throughout the video, you can find many exciting ways for your students to think about their spaces, and how their feelings can be heard through art. By working with the prompts given, your class can learn new methods of recording their surroundings through sound, feeling, touch, movement, and more. Abbas Zahedi captures emotional experiences by playing with media and space; how can you encourage your class to do the same?

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