Artist Hormazd Narielwalla was born in Mumbai, India in 1979 and moved to Britain in 2003, originally to study as a fashion designer. He holds a PhD from University of Arts, London. His field of research is an original collage technique around the iconic brown paper of discarded tailoring patterns and he describes his practice as 'influenced by cross-cultural perceptions'. His first solo show, 'Study on Anansi', was exhibited by Paul Smith in 2009. His solo display 'Lost Gardens' was commissioned by the Southbank Centre, London (2016) and he has also held solo shows at the India Art Fair in Delhi and, in 2015, at the Museum of Fashion in Bath. His work has been commissioned by the Crafts Council for the national touring exhibit 'Block Party' (2011) and 'Collect 13' at the Saatchi Gallery (2013). Narielwalla won the Saatchi Showdown Art Prize (2014) and the Paupers Press Prize at the International Print Biennale, Newcastle (2016). His collaborations include Centre of Possible Studies / Serpentine Gallery, Beams Tokyo, V&A, Artbelow and Hyatt Regency London. His work is also in the permanent collection of the V&A.
He has observed, ‘As a young gay man growing up in India, Western culture hardly permeated. It seeped in very gently, drop by drop. Then in the 1990s MTV started broadcasting music videos from the West and my first glimpse of David Bowie was from the 1970s, with his bright red hair and green, glass-like eyes. His beauty captured my imagination immediately. He showed me a different kind of masculinity in the character of Ziggy Stardust – the hair, the make-up, the costumes, in addition to his music and stagecraft. Bowie’s shape-shifting ability to create different personas was the starting point for images that at their basis explore ideas of transformation into another self. My dancing dolls are a form of celebration. Highly decorative and drawing on an extensive collection of papers I have sourced from all over the world, ranging from Japanese Chiyogami, Nepalese Lokta, Dutch gold and hand-blocked papers. Beauty as a form of seduction.’ Hormazd Narielwalla lives and works in London.