The eXTra finGer

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Interview with Hormazd Narielwalla

q)Please tell us your name and where you practice.

a)) My name is Hormazd Narielwalla and I practice in London, UK.

q) Why do you make art?

a) I make art because it allows me to channel my energy into a physical form. I find the process of making an artwork stimulating and calming besides the most important thing is that it becomes a language for me to express my feelings at that moment of time.

q) How do you work ?

a) I am lucky to have my own studio where I practice. It is based in the London College of Fashion. My principle material is the tailoring pattern that I acquire from bespoke Savile Row tailors Dege & Skinner - these I use depending on the size of my canvas. The methodologies I use in creating an artwork depends on what the final outcome would be. So for instance when it is a collage illustration - I worked digitally or if it's a physical artwork like Dead Man's Patterns skull then it would be a more hands on method. I also use photography, screen printing, hand and Vector drawings in my work. But they all compliment and balance the tailoring pattern, which is the principle component in my artwork.

q) What´s your background?

a) I am trained as a fashion designer. But I don't make clothes. I make art!

q) What role does the artist have in society?

a) the artist is the rebel, the creator and the philosopher

q) What was a seminal experience for you ?

a) finding out that in Savile Row the tailor discards the pattern after the customer dies. My conversation with William Skinner, Managing Director of Dege & Skinner about it ignited a feeling in me that I could create a visual voice to tell their tailoring stories.

q) Has your practice changed over time ?

a)Any practice keeps evolving. I started working only with digital versions of the pattern - now I have started viewing them as physical objects in themselves and I see myself cut, copy, paste more often...

q) What art do you most identify with ?

a)Abstraction art - Matisse and Picasso specifically

q) What´s your strongest memory of your childhood ?

a)Being taken to the Zoo and hating it.

q) What themes do you pursue ?

a)The 2 strongest themes in my work are the body and clothing, I guess you could say that patterns are the link between the two.

q) Describe a real life experience that inspired you.

a) going to the Picasso retrospective at the National Gallery, London.

q) What´s your most embarrassing moment ?

a)In an art context not knowing who Gilbert & George are when discussing with my tutor. I love what they do and how they dress.

q) What jobs have you done other than being an artist ?

a)I worked as a stylist briefly, for an interior designer, and many part time jobs..

q) What responses have you had to your work ?

a)Critical but in a positive way. It took some time for people to get what I am doing.

q) What do you dislike about the artworld ?

a)At times artists are prostitutes.

q) What research do you do ?

a)My phd examines technical values of the pattern - my argument is that in dress history the pattern is a historical document - a file of knowledge and can be viewed as drawings in their own right, abstracted shapes of the human form.

q) What is your dream project?

a)To work with a Matador tailor in Madrid and create artworks inspired by the experience. To also be invited by the Royal Palace to create a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen

q) What´s the best piece of advice you have been given ?

a) Follow your instinct.

q) What couldn’t you do without?

a)My eyes

q) What makes you angry?

a) Stupidity

q) What is your worst quality?

a)I am overly critical of myself.

q) Dogs or Cats ?

a) Both, but cats at the moment.

q) Making art is a lot like being on lsd. Know what I mean ?

a) I have never had it - but my other euphoric experiences could be compared to creating an artwork where I am able to just let myself go.

q) What does “ copy” mean to you ?

a) there is nothing more amateur than being scared of being copied.

q) What´s your favorite cuss word ?

a) C"*T because it's offensive! I've used it once!