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Hormazd Narielwalla is a Georgian based artist, that being located on the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, completed his Masters in Fashion Enterprise at London’s University of Westminster began his practice in the cutting rooms of the bespoke tailors Dege & Skinner, No. 10 Savile Row.
Focusing specifically on 2D and 3D collages, Mr. Narielwalla incorporates the tailoring patterns alongside the antiquarian and contemporary trade counterparts to create art that explores the body in abstract form. It bridges the gap between art and fashion.
Mr. Narielwalla research led to the appointment on becoming the ‘Artist In Residence’ again at Dege & Skinner during which time he went onto publish the 2008 book ‘Dead Man’s Patterns.’ The British Library, the National Art Library and the Courtauld Collection of Art & Design acquired ‘Dead Man’s Patterns’ as did twenty-five other collections from around Europe and America.
Mr. Narielwalla’s recognition has enabled him to travel around Europe, Australia, India and America. He has exhibited at Sir Paul Smith’s Albermarle Street Gallery and Diane Pernet’s Scope in New York all of whom have shown considerable insuring interest in Savile Row. The next exhibition of his work is reportedly going to be housed somewhere in London but alas, one has as of yet, not come across any advertisement or mention of Mr. Narielwalla, so time will tell.
Freed from the traditional function of a tailor Mr. Narielwalla drawings are ahead of their time, slightly anthropomorphic in origin and beautifully abstract in isolation the resulting work is striking and angular. They cover an array of different subject matters, such as, women’s lingerie to overcoats, hats and shoes.
The inserts from the antique magazine, ‘Le Petit Echo de la Mode’, specifically number seventy-one has like the other sketches a rather art deco feel to them and are vibrant in colour. Some even have deconstructed pattern that means it has a somewhat cubist influence running through them. It makes it feel as if there is an energy running through it as if it was done in a great hurry for an impatient client. Despite that number, seventy-one and others from ‘Le Petit Echo de la Mode’ are small and the least complex they demonstrate the above. In comparison, the ‘Eccentric Englishman’ and ‘Golden Maharaja’ show a lightness of touch and his skill that is not always visible in his larger pieces.
One can just imagine that the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were he constantly quotes ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ would if he was not a fictional character would be just one such potential client.
Perhaps such an image would flatter Mr. Narielwalla as some of his work is on a child friendly theme and include ‘Sometimes I feel like a Princess’, ‘Mother and Child’ and ‘Pretty Boy in Gold’.
Indeed, Mr. Narielwalla is reportedly to have said that his work is actually created by a process of childlike play and experiments. For example, he was stated to be particularly inspired by the round shapes of soldiers’ hats and military uniform patterns in creating the ‘Toy Soldiers’ and supports the ethos of children being welcomed into museums and galleries to nurture their interest and creativity.
As the first and only recipient of the International Rector’s Scholarship to read a PhD at London’s College of Fashion, University of the Arts, his second book The Savile Row Cutter, a biography of the master tailor Michael Skinner and here Mr. Narielwalla shows his pupil like appreciation. Prints from this book are available to buy but as like any his other collection they vary running from the low hundreds to just under three thousand pounds.
In 2013 the Saatchi Art Gallery announced Mr. Narielwalla as ‘One to Watch’, and in 2014 he won the Saatchi Art Showdown prize, ‘The Body Electric’ and has his work currently exhibited in the hotel’s curated Saatchi Suite. Certainly, those looking for something slightly unusual should check out his work.