Lubna Chowdhary’s shaped tiles, sculptural objects and spatial installations in ceramic constitute a distinctive oeuvre that bridges the disciplines of architecture, craft, design, sculpture and painting. Her colour-rich body of work explores and celebrates the plurality of our built environment. Histories of material culture and cross‐cultural confluence are examined to generate new forms that resist easy classification.
Her heritage – born in Tanzania to Pakistani parents who emigrated to the industrial north of England in the 1970s – brings with it the memory of richly designed spaces and diverse architectural landscapes. Subverting the traditional use of clay, Chowdhary merges ideas and aesthetics from Eastern and Western cultures to address the relationship between them.
The tableau Late in the Afternoon evokes the characteristically hybrid architecture of Asian and South Asian cities, their informal conjunctions of tradition and modernity, the rational and spiritual. The work recalls a view of a distant cityscape, a world captured in space and existing across time. It brings together multiple, overlapping or closely installed, two‐dimensional forms that are often metaphorical, but sometimes reference memories of real objects, buildings and places. Special attention is paid to constructing, accumulating and composing elements. Their vibrant glazed surfaces carry the softness and irregularity of hand glazing which contrasts sharply against the technologically precise cut of the ceramic forms.
Gallery Oldham is very pleased to have been able to add Late in the Afternoon to their collection of studio ceramics. To acquire a work by a renowned artist such as Lubna Chowdhary, who grew up just a few miles away from Oldham, will inspire future generations of artists from Oldham and beyond. Late in the Afternoon also strongly resonates on a local level: It evokes the familiar shapes of the north‐west’s industrial built forms that, in combination with the artist’s South Asian architectural influences, echoes the complexity and visual excitement of our shared lives in the UK today.
Lubna Chowdhary (b. 1964, Dodoma, Tanzania) lives and works in London. Recent group exhibitions include Frestonian Gallery, London (2018); Manchester Art Gallery (2017); and Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2018). Solo-shows include Art Basel Hong Kong (2019) and Kochi Biennale (2018). She was artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 2017.