I have always been fascinated with the work of up and coming artists, ceramicists and photographers and have collected for many years now. Whilst at a very engaging Patrons dinner at the Royal Academy last evening, I was so glad to have met Hormazd Narielwalla, who’s work I find fascinating. His work is primarily born out of historic Saville Row tailors patterns, which are traditionally destroyed. His use of colour and texture in creating these thought provoking collages is very refreshing. I asked Hormazd to write a little artist statement. You can find out a lot more about his work by visiting his website here: http://www.narielwalla.com/bio/ .
We are hoping to potentially display a couple of his works in our store, which I think will sit very comfortably next to the iconic shapes of some of our Mid Century furniture and Neo Classical pieces.
Tailoring patterns are a means to an end. These technical mathematical drafts have been developed since the late 1500s, drawn on various kinds of paper, and used to create structured clothing. They carry with them the outline of the garment, and also a representation of the body. Every artwork or series begins with a response to the patterns as the fundamental focus bringing to light their qualities as shapes in themselves. The role of the ‘body’ has played a recurring theme in artworks since Dead Man’s Patterns (2008) an artist’s book inspired by the bespoke suit patterns of a deceased customer, cut by the eminent Savile Row tailors Dege & Skinner. The tailors would ceremoniously shred the patterns of former clients, since there is no value in the parchment without the body. The photographic sequence depicting the making of the garment is charged and ghost-like within the context of the title Dead Man’s Patterns; where the patterns make the absent figure tangible’. Each section of the book suggests different physical states of the ‘man’ with a sense of formal preparation for burial. The physical man is never there; the book’s pages gesture towards intimacy even though they are merely paper.
In my most recent works (2013-2014) the female form is shattered into precise overlapping facets, flattened not as multiple views of a subject but as the object itself made from single pattern sheets. These compositions recall the Cubists, who strove to paint pictures that compressed the sensation of all faces of an object simultaneously into one image. Art historian Arnason in History of Modern Art (1988) explains that ‘the cubists like Picasso and Braque broke ancient system’s fixed, unitary, hierarchical focus into democratically multiple perspectives, they created a mixed or composite image, presented as if viewed from many different angles at once’. In this context it is significant to position patterns as relevant 2D flat representations of 3D bodies. Like the Cubists, tailors analyse bodies and produce drafted mathematical patterns that can be viewed as the entirety of the body. Tailoring patterns are artefacts in themselves: they present every facet of a garment, and inevitably the body along with it, on a single sheet of paper. These patterns seduce me, not to cut and detach, but to leave intact and explore the multiple aspects and angles of the body by filling in the planes. In the process this becomes a realization of the Cubist philosophy. The history of these radical original pattern abstractions from fashion magazines (1897–1983) and the history of pattern cutting (1580 onwards) predate the Cubist movement.
My work propose a new interpretation of tailoring patterns as interesting abstracted drawings of the human form which have an inherent aesthetic quality that can be used innovatively to develop a contemporary art practice. Freed from function they are drawings ahead of their time, anthropomorphic in origin and beautifully