Diamond Dolls, 2021

Co-Published by Concentric Editions and EMH Arts, London

Edition: 300 edition of an artist’s book in three acts, signed and numbered, with eight special page features.

ISBN 978-1-9997891-8-3

“A fabulous and fascinating addition to the Bowie universe.”
Dylan Jones, OBE

“Diamond Dolls is a stunning anthology of drawings, built up from discarded Savile Row brown tailoring patterns. Hormazd elevates these hollow outlined figures into ceremonious beauty and magic.”
Russell Tovey

Diamond Dolls is a sumptuous artist’s book that originates from a sequence of Hormazd Narielwalla’s highly distinctive paper collages. Thirty six images carry a running motif of Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ persona, each of which is defined by elaborate, decorative costuming. Cipher-like, the figures reference the Japanese gender-fluid traditions of kabuki and onnagata, which influenced Bowie in his approach to challenging conventions about sexuality.

The book is introduced by John O’Connell, author of Bowie’s Books (Bloomsbury, 2019), who draws parallels between Bowie’s shape-shifting ability to project different personas through dress and make-up and Narielwalla’s exploration of themes that encompass identity, adornment and transformation. Conceived as a sculptural object in three parts and designed to stand like a series of shoji screens, Diamond Dolls pushes the boundaries of lithographic printing into the territory of an art medium. The original collages are printed front and back to reveal the ‘artifice’ of cutting and pasting involved in their construction, while the foiling of paper edges and details of debossed abstract patterns, gives the opening and arranging of the book a tactile and performative quality.

Diamond Dolls has been acquired by public collections including Yale Center for British Art, USA; Tate, London and Bower Ashton Library Special Collection, Bristol.