Kashif Nadim Chaudry is a based-Nottingham artist specialised in textiles (thread, fabric) shaping. Born in Nottingham, in a Punjabi origin family and graduating at Goldsmiths College in London, Nadim plays with origins, identities and influences.
Your studio is in this incredible place that is Primary, a former Victorian primary school, where 26 artists are in residence with a special focus on new ways of engaging audiences. What does it mean for you in your daily work? Do you have the impression that this environment inspires you or is it more this city area that inspired you and is what you are creating here in Nottingham thoroughly linked to/threaded with this region?
Being part of a large community like Primary is very exciting. One of the things I miss most after graduating from University is the ability to have critical dialogue and conversation with fellow artists but here at Primary I can always find somebody to talk to about my work and vice versa.
It is also inspiring being part of a studio with so many different artists and practices because there is the potential for cross pollination and collaboration, it’s always exciting to see what other people are doing especially when it is very different to your own work.
Most of work is inspired by my own inner landscape of ideas and experiences and so I don’t consider the city of Nottingham itself to be an inspiration but it’s a great city that I’ve always lived in!
We can read in many of your interviews that space and environment are really present in your work. How do you sense or feel space and how do you shape it? Are your works designed by space or do you see space as a building playground inside which one you add materials?
I like the idea of space as a ‘building playground’ in which to create work, to describe it this way makes me think of a womb or another incubator in which something is created!
The idea of placement is important to my practice, defined as the way in which we position ourselves in the world through identifying with/or not with social constructs. For example, defining myself as a queer artist (a gay man) automatically places me outside the Muslim culture I was brought up in and so it has forced me to consider where/how/and with what do I identify. Social constructs are fabricated through, amongst other things, ceremony and ritual, which are very specific in terms of people having roles and being ‘placed’ in certain ways. Being on the ‘outside’ of such constructs, forces you to re-assess and create your own rituals and ways of being in the world.
I also really like working in 3D because it is all encompassing and so for me has great power. You are able to control how people navigate a piece of work and also the relationship with the gallery/exhibition space. Again this relates to a kind of ritual or performance, in that I am able to control the space around my work.
Why did you choose to create with textiles? Were you at first attracted by the material or all the references behind it? (Fashion, cloths, your family history or maybe also social link) You also work with other materials such as bones or wood but threads and fabric are always present (e.g. in your “MEMES” exhibition in summer 2012 in the Lakeside Arts Centre); are they for you the occasion to say another thing or introduce a dialogue between these materials?
I come from a family heritage in tailoring and so have grown up with fabric. For me its become a primary material. I like the fluidity of cloth and the fact that there are a myriad processes that can be applied to it to alter it in many ways.
But the heart of my practice is also about combining unusual materials (like bones and human hair) together with opulent materials, bringing together beauty and the abject. This for me is a metaphor for life; that it is both beautiful and abject and that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two.
Articles and websites used for this interview:
- Kashif Nadim Chaudry, official website
- nadim chaudry, Resident Artist, STUDIO A3 in Primary
- Kashif Nadim Chaudry – Memes, 17.07.2012, by Sanjay Brown in Leftlion
- KASHIF NADIM CHAUDRY INTERVIEW, 29.06.2013, by Isobel Whitelegg in Nottigham Visual Art
- REVIEW OF KASHIF NADIM CHAUDRY’S – ‘IMPRESSIONS OF MEMES’, 21.09.2012, by Sooree Pillay in New Art Exchange
- “MEMES” – KASHIF NADIM CHAUDRY, 20.08.2012, by Rachel Marsden in RACHEL MARSDEN’S WORDS