Birds of Passage, 2022

Co-published by Hormazd Narielwalla and Printsmith, London

Edition: 25

Introduction by Dr Shaun Cole, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

Book opens with mirror concertina layout
Box size: H: 34.5 x W: 38 x D: 4 cms
Book size when fully open: H: 23.5 x W: 320 cms

Birds of Passage grew out of the COVID 19 lockdowns in London in 2019. In response to his memories of Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures viewed in the Hepworth gardens in St Ives, Narielwalla created a series of works on the pages of a 1906 tailoring guide by Madame G. Shefer. Entitled Rock, Paper, Scissors, the work referenced Narielwalla’s own creative process and his previous works that utilised found or discarded materials relating to tailoring and pattern cutting. The size of the patterns, that could be scaled up to human body size, contrasted with, but also echoed, the forms of Hepworth’s sculptures and her insistence of the relation between her sculptures and the human form.

Narielwalla’s partner Kieran McGlone created physical sculpture maquettes of Narielwalla’s drawings and used these to cast shadows creating individual cyanotype prints. For Narielwalla, these cyanotypes resembled the shadows of wings and reminded him of Hepworth’s winged and bird sculptures. Following previous creative processes of collage, Narielwalla enhanced his bird wing reading by placing lingerie patterns over the prints, providing depth and further texture to the original prints. As a suite of 20 works the collaged prints come together as a flock, seemingly flying across the pages of the artist’s book, released as the cover is opened and the pages unfolded, migrating from the page into the sight and consciousness of the reader.

The bookwork has been acquired for the Special collections of London College of Fashion and Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.