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Lubna Chowdhary

In my work I attempt to negotiate some of the competing narratives which the complex modern world forces us to confront.

I assimilate ideas and aesthetics from Eastern and Western worlds and examine the relationship between them. Contrasting the languages of ‘Horror Vacui’ (fear of empty space), commonly attributed to the visual traditions of the East, with the economy of Western Modernism.

Anthropological collections and categorised objects, whether in a museum, a shop or a flea market, provided an early window into the creativity and output of many diverse cultures. Their concentrated richness of form, materials and methods offered a latent connection to develop a personal language.

The particular iconographies, the imposed order and the convoluted relationships echo the experience of a transcultural life, forming a pluralistic language which employs a breadth of ideas and references.

The current works are composed of multiple ceramic elements which operate between painting and sculpture. A controllable landscape of competing shapes; part signs, part diagrams. The simplified glazed forms are sometimes metaphorical and sometimes make explicit reference to real objects. A vocabulary of forms which slip between overlapping identities are reconfigured into a new shifting landscape which rebuilds layers of memory and meaning.

In creating the work, there is a pleasure in materials and the process of manual production. The work is produced by hand, enjoying some of the accidental details more traditional methods generate. In order to find a balance between the personal and the industrial, it sometimes employs the perfection of technological processes such as water jet cutting.

Attention is paid to building, accumulating, layering, composing, in an effort to recreate the complexity, visual excitement and energy of the environment we inhabit. The production of the work is embedded in the hand and the heart as much as the head and the eye.

Each presentation of the work breaks down and reconfigures new relationships and narratives, which subtly examine the issues and ideas, shaping our contemporary world and which imagine our future.

Lubna Chowdhary Ten Tables Glazed ceramic tile

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