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Even the Animals

24 Apr, 2010 at 12:00 am - 22 May, 2010 at 12:00 am

A photograph of a red woven art piece with an animal skull at the forefront of it, the piece resembles an animal and is hung from the ceiling

Defining himself as a textile artist, Kashif Nadim Chaudry’s current practice is concerned with a search for the idea of the sacred and all its entrapments. Playing with the traditions and ceremonies of his own Pakistani Muslim background, as well as investigating a further marginalised identity as a British born gay man, Chaudry’s search for the sacred raises questions around adornment, sexuality and the performances of religious and cultural ritual.

Even the Animals is a spectacle, a performance frozen in time. Referencing the solemnity of the congregation at mass or bejewelled wedding guests admiring their bride, Chaudry’s fantastical sculptural beasts enact a surreal vision of a broken church.

Coming from a family heritage were textiles and tailoring have played a fundamental role, craftsmanship and the sensuality of cloth are defining features of Chaudry’s working practice. A degree in textiles has very much focused his creativity around the importance of materiality and as he asserts: “The heart of my practice lies with the working, shaping and moulding of physical ‘stuff’.”

What makes a space or ritual sacred? What shapes, forms and colours are appropriate for such a task? Chaudry’s work also explores notions of the mysterious and monumental, arguably aspects of the sacred, and provide a visual dialectic with the secular.