I am an Asian born diaspora artist, living and working in the UK. My work reflects the human condition through found materials focusing on environmental concerns, migration and exile and gender issues. Using objects, textiles, song and conversation which resonate with me on some level, I create works which move fluidly between different media.
My practice involves a variety of processes and techniques including collecting, painting, sewing, bead work, modelling and casting. I am particularly drawn to museum collections at the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers, close to where I live in Oxford.
I have always loved Ceramics and have been thinking about ways in which to incorporate it into my practice. As a child, I remember going down to the bottom of the garden, digging up some soil and creating a pot with a lid and painting it with gold poster paint. This pot lasted for a few years.. my first vessel…
Earlier this year I was reunited with my love for ceramics. I was thrilled to receive the Developing Your Creative Practice award from Arts Council England for developing my skills in Ceramics in the context of museum collections.
As I am inspired by the collections at the Ashmolean Museum, I was delighted to meet for an initial discussion with Lena Fritsch, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art there. She helpfully shared her perspective on contemporary visual artists working with museum collections and also gave me advice on how to proceed with enquiring about specific objects which resonate with me and may be especially relevant to my work.
Following this initial meeting, I have been exploring the ceramics collection and Eastern Art Collection at the a through online and physical research (given COVID-19).
I have started to develop new work relating to the Ashmolean collections, incorporating my new skills in ceramics. I am very fortunate to be working with Rafael Borja, an artist with extensive expertise in Ceramics based in Oxford.
The combination of ceramics with aspects of the Ashmolean’s Eastern collection is exciting for me, resonating with my South Asian origin.
One of the first objects which inspired me is a textile fragment with leaves and flowers.
Left: Textile Piece from Eastern Collection, Ashmolean Museum
Right: My first ceramic vessel inspired by the textile piece (W 8.5 D7 H9 cm)
This vessel is created using a pinching technique in stoneware clay. The outer surface is painted using a combination of under glazes to reflect the colours in the textile piece. The surface of the vessel is finished with a transparent glaze. The combination of textile patterns and ceramics is a possibility I would like to continue to explore in future works.
In this blog I will continue my account on future discoveries within the museum collections with images of ceramics I will be making. If you like more information about my work, please visit my website.
I will also be documenting my experience of visits to Art institutions in other regions within the UK and reciprocal studio visits with other artists and our ideas for collaboration.