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Collection Reflection: Lubna Chowdhary

22 July 2020 1:30 pm

Image credit: © The artist, Chowdhary, Tanzania, 1964, Five Pods, 1996, Glazed earthenware 

Gift of Dr Terry Friedman, 2007


Each of these five sculptures by ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary is about half the size of a fist. They were hand modelled from porcelain clay and resemble seed pods. Lubna Chowdhary is a ceramicist who works from her home studio in London, making sculptures, handcrafted tiles, and site-specific works, responding to her environment.  

The pods almost look like pendants, with their curved or hooked stalks.  There is perhaps an ‘otherworldly’ appearance to them, as though they could have fallen from outer space and there is a suggestion of being part creature, part plant. 

The highly decorative style gives the pods a jewel-like quality; the way in which the glazes pool around the bumps and grooves highlights the surface pattern and sculptural form.  The translucency the glazes provide enables layers of different colour to show through and almost blend together in some areas, further accentuating the form of the objects.   

In conjunction with their 2015 exhibition ‘Eye of the Beholder: Taking Inspiration’, Bradford Museums and Galleries made a series of short filmsThese films focus on four artists who were commissioned to create artworks to complement the museum’s International Art Collection and to mark the 25th anniversary of its formation. In one of these films (link below), Lubna describes her inspiration and process.  She explains how the use of glazes provides a pleasing unpredictable effect, due to the uncertainty of the outcome regarding colour. 

Chowdhary’s ceramic work has been heavily influenced by her experience and observations of food preparation and these works were possibly influenced by the spices used in Indian cooking.  

You can learn more about the work here: https://youtu.be/chO_LOCywyw 

 By Lindsey Thompson, MIMA Gallery Assistant 



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