SHIVER PRESENTS

JENNIFA CHOWDHURY

SHIVER PRESENTS

JENNIFA CHOWDHURY

During these turbulent, unsettling times, we want to share a glimmer of beauty to break up the fear and anxiety. Each week we will be highlighting new artworks from emerging artists and share their thoughts and inspirations during this time. This week we are showcasing the work of Illustrator and Digital Artist, Dominic Morris.

ONLINE EXHIBITION

'Squared Circle’ by Jennifa Chowdhury

60cm x 60cm
Acrylic Felt and Paper

"The continuity of the interlacement invites the eye to follow it, the viewers’ vision is then transformed into a rhythmic visual experience along with the intellectual satisfaction of the geometric complexity.

The shapes of Islamic interlacement are built up from one or more regular figures inscribed in a circle, which are then developed according to the principle of the star shaped polygon. The geometric development of an octagon or two squares inscribed in a circle is the most traditional in Islamic geometric art. To divide the circle by eight makes for greater amplitude, because it somehow embraces the extreme contrast of the squared circle."

Jennifa endeavours to reimagine Islamic geometric patterns through modern textile processes and technology. Creating patterns through laser cutting, light, shadow, transparency layering and manipulation of cloth in order to bridge the gap between modern materials and traditional patterns, reflective of her heritage. 

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'Sangam’ by Jennifa Chowdhury

50cm x 50cm
Acrylic Felt

"The magic of Islamic geometric design, mixes elements of maths, art and history to decipher the steps that lead to the finished patterns. The circle symbolises unity and diversity in nature, with many Islamic patterns drawn starting with a circle, while the extreme contrast of the squared circle is derived by dividing the circle by eight."

Jennifa endeavours to reimagine Islamic geometric patterns through modern textile processes and technology. Creating patterns through laser cutting, light, shadow, transparency layering and manipulation of cloth in order to bridge the gap between modern materials and traditional patterns, reflective of her heritage. 

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‘The Making of Virtuous daughters’ - Collection

Jennifa’s work is a narrative embedded in traditional ‘Vrata’ rituals of Bengal and Islamic geometric art that conjoins historical and traditional textile crafts developed into a body of work. Reimagining the fluid and graceful movements and patterns in these craft-forms, through a process-driven creative practice. By investigating and reimagining the fluid and graceful movements and patterns in these craft-forms, through a process-driven creative practice has allowed for a series of conceptually challenging and engaging structures, exploring light, shadow and movement. Encapsulating her childhood memories and cultural identities; both public and personal, whilst embracing Muslim, Bengali and Western cultures. Her work embodies femininity by exploring and articulating strength, fragility and beauty through visual representation.

Jennifa endeavours to evoke, re-imagine and communicate subjects of culture, memory and time connected in the visual representation with aesthetic consideration made through her work. Form is communicated through large scale site-specific installations, while pushing production concepts through applied digital technology, unconventional materials and scale. Jennifa wishes to question and challenge the possibilities and pre-conceptions of print and textiles and redefine these through the manipulation of material, pattern and colour. 

'Vrata’ Vessel by Jennifa Chowdhury

80cm x 20cm
Acrylic Felt, Powertex and Glass

"A narrative embedded in traditional female ‘Vrata’ rituals of Bengal that conjoins historical and traditional textile crafts developed into a body of work. By investigating and reimagining the fluid and graceful movements and patterns in these craft-forms, through a process-driven creative practice has allowed for a conceptually challenging and engaging structure, exploring light, shadow and movement.

Subjects of culture, memory and time are connected through visual representation and aesthetic considerations made through the manipulation of material, pattern and colour. The questioning of stereotypical gendering of these traditional crafts as ‘domesticated’ is made whilst making forms that symbolise fragility, strength and beauty."

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'The Vessels of Festivals, Devotion and Celebration'
by Jennifa Chowdhury

Each 150cm x 20cm
Acrylic Felt, Powertex and Gold Thread

"The vessel encapsulates my childhood memories and identity, the three-dimensional vessels are both encapsulating and projecting, internalising and externalising, public and private, whilst exploring Muslim, Bengali and Western cultures. To reveal a conceptual link capturing the identity and femininity of my mother and other mothers—me, you, us. The Vessel visually expresses the cultural boundaries and the uniqueness of the female gender- outside looking in, the viewers interaction with light/shadows projection around the installations."

This has allowed her to plunge deeper and acknowledge the multiplicity of cultures belonging to several groups and consequently having several identities and even loyalties. This has consciously and sometimes subconsciously directed her personal life decisions and choices.

Jennifa’s textile practice explores her personal creative identity while developing a unique narrative, though reflection and evaluation of her diverse cultural heritage and memories connected to her childhood and personal life experiences. To evoked, re-imagine, reclaim and communicate through her fascination of pattern, colour and structure, discovering avenues while pushing boundaries through experimentation to express her thoughts within her creative practice. 

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Close up of 'Vessel of Festivals' by Jennifa Chowdhury

150cm x 20cm
Acrylic Felt, Powertex and Gold Thread

"Red and white vessel is inspired by ‘Laal Paar’ sarees traditionally worn by Bengali women while the motif is reimagined Henna patterns, joined by lacelike connectors to form the repeat. The vessel is constructed by laser cut felt coated with ‘Powertex’ (a fabric hardener) and held together by gold thread in the form of cross-stitch."

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Close up of 'Vessel of Devotion'
by Jennifa Chowdhury

150cm x 20cm
Acrylic Felt, Powertex and Gold Thread

"The white and gold vessel captures peace, purity and godliness, while reimagining the fluid and graceful movements and patterns of ‘Alpana’ motifs and traditional lace patterns. The vessel is constructed by laser cut felt coated with ‘Powertex’ (a fabric hardener) and held together by gold intersection stitch."

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Close up of 'Vessel of Celebration'
by Jennifa Chowdhury

150cm x 20cm
Acrylic Felt and Powertex

"The Vessel of Celebration inspired by traditional ‘Alta’, ‘Bindi’ and ‘Khol’, while large paisley motifs held together by net-like patterns. Challenging the possibilities and pre-conceptions of print and textiles and redefine these by pushing these boundaries through experimentation."

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'Fragmented Circles' by Jennifa Chowdhury

60cm x 60cm
Acrylic and Gold Thread

"Reflecting contrasts between East, the West, femininity and masculinity, public life and private life, antiquity and modernity. Bridging these subjects with gold intersection stitch to recreate the whole in a visually aesthetic piece while the concept is kept deliberately ambiguous to the viewer until further explored.

Echoing Zen aesthetics with carefully reassembled fragmented pieces, bound together by gold stitch. The gold is there to emphasise that joins have a philosophically rich merit all of their own becoming a symbol of fragility, strength and beauty. Whilst exploring gender roles in our current cultural and global climate with an aesthetic element that reimagines the recurring circular form, red dot and repeating motifs within ‘women’s Vrata rituals’ through digital technology."

Jennifa intends for her installation to immerse the viewer, allowing their moving bodies to change the nature of the pattern with their silhouette as they walk freely. Creating a unique engaging experience, she wants people to take away with them something that visually intrigues them and touches them on an emotional level. 

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INTERVIEW

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was brought up in a Bengali family in Sheffield, after living in London, Zurich, Dhaka I am now settled in Winchester.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?

I have a BA in Textile Design from Nottingham Trent University and recently completed my Masters in Textiles from University for the Creative Art in Farnham.

WHAT IS/ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUMS?

I have always loved the fundamental qualities of cloth and the idea of being able to transform its surface and manipulate its structure. My favourite is Devoré, a burnout technique used on blended fabrics, it undergoes a chemical process to dissolve the cellulose fibres to create a semi-transparent pattern against more solidly woven fabric. More recently I have been fascinated by laser cutting cloth. My work reimagines historical and traditional textile crafts through a process-driven creative practice while pushing production concepts through applied digital technology, unconventional materials and scale.

WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS ARE?

My own creative practice revolves around surface pattern, exploring my own cultural heritage and the narrative embedded in traditional female ‘Vrata’ rituals of Bengal. I am fascinated by architectural details, Islamic geometric interlacement and the geometric complexity of its construction.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT INSPIRE YOUR WORK? OR ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS/SONGS YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO WHILE WORKING?

I have quite a broad music taste and it is hard for me to be selective on what influences my work the most, but I would say I favor older music to current music in the charts. Artists that I would never skip when they come up on my playlist are Belle and Sebastian, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and The Magic numbers. I do have a few guilty pleasures as well, but don’t we all?

Do you have any habits or personal rituals you do in order to get in the zone for creating?

I have never really thought of my process before creating work as a ritual, but I do always make sure I have a clear space and my desk is empty. I cannot work if the area around me is messy, which is ironic because no matter what it is always a like a tip by the end. Since I have left university and I no longer have a studio space, I must work in my bedroom, so lately I have been finding myself cleaning my room before I work. I do also love to listen to music while I work, however, I sometimes put on a film or series. Even though I am not watching the screen, I enjoy listening to the story and because of this I have been listening to podcasts more as well. The most recent podcast I have been listing to is, ‘David Tennant In Conversation With’, which I highly recommend.

Check out this playlist by Caitlin to hear what she's listening to right now.

I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.

2020 has been a chaotic year to say the least, with times changing so rapidly and our lives being shaken up dramatically, have you noticed any changes in your creative process or mindset?

For me personally, the current situation has affected me in many ways, times have been hard but also there have been great days as well, and I think this is something that everyone can relate to. However, talking from the perspective of a Fine Art student in their last year of university, it has been difficult coming to terms with the whole situation. There were many things I was looking forward to that will no longer take place, such as our Degree Show, which is an amazing opportunity to showcase work and create contacts, but also to celebrate the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one. My creative journey was also cut short very suddenly because the mediums and processes I use need specialist equipment that I don’t have access to at home, and at first it was really upsetting, and I would be lying if I said it doesn't still affect me. However, with all the chaos that is going on in the world, I think it is extremely important to focus on the positives rather than dwell on the negatives. The positives that have come out of this situation for me is that I have been able to reconnect with my family after living in student accommodation for the past two years, it has given me a large amount of time to relax before I start my new job as a technician at a college, I have been able to read books that have been on my reading list for months, I am saving money and I have also been given this amazing opportunity to exhibit my work with Shiver Gallery.

Who are your favourite artists and why?

Answer here

How did lockdown affect you creatively?

I turned to my creative practice and engrossed myself in making, I felt driven to discover different avenues of creative engagement that gave me space to engage in making. This has enabled me to express in unspoken words my feeling of overwhelm, while producing work giving meaning and fulfilment.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

My work is visually aesthetic, and the concept is deliberately ambiguous to the viewer until further explored. Through my work I wish to explore how living with the boundaries of diverse cultures and religions; Bengali, Islam, Indian, British, European and Christian have deeply influenced my visual work throughout my life. This has undoubtedly become part of my personal identity while forming a social outlook as a British/Bengali/Muslim woman, living in patriarchal societies in England, Switzerland and Bangladesh.

What does art/your creative process mean to you?

My creative practice involves becoming deeply absorbed with my work, as a result allowing my mind to freely wonder, which allows for reflection and critical evaluation, in the form of visual communication. Making allows me to access a meditative state, and therefore to ‘reconnect’ with myself.

To see more of Jennifa's work, visit her artist's page or check out our online shop

SHOP

'Accidental Normality' by Dominic Morris

£39

'Loose Ends'
by Dominic Morris

£78

'Liquid Mirrors'
by Dominic Morris

£63

'Kaleidoscope'
by Dominic Morris

£6

See next
exhibition

See previous
exhibition

See next
exhibition

See previous
exhibition