Kashif Nadim Chaudry is a Nottingham born artist, of Punjabi origin, living and working in the East Midlands. He studied Textiles at Goldsmiths College, London, graduating in 2005 and has continued to develop a textile orientated practice. A family heritage in tailoring has been very influential for Chaudry’s work and has focused his creativity around the importance of materiality and craftsmanship. The heart of his practice lies with the working, shaping and moulding of physical ‘stuff’.
Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Cabal (2020), installation view I am heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney at Campbelltown Arts Centre; photo: Kai Wasikowski.
Negotiating his sexuality as a gay man, within different cultural and religious spheres, has been a fertile ground from which Chaudry’s practice has taken root and from which he continuously draws inspiration. This ‘negotiation’ has often translated literally into physical space, grounded in a question of how one chooses to position themself in the world. Increasingly, it is through the sculptural and three-dimensional possibilities within his work that Chaudry addresses these issues of space and position.
Chaudry is in awe of the monumental, the majestic and the sacred; from Neolithic architecture to the Taj Mahal. He draws upon the vastness of historical cultures and their associated artefacts for inspiration. Closer to home, it is the colourful and sensual fabrics of South Asia that have always brought him joy and continue to embroider his practice. Chaudry is fascinated with embellishment, adornment and decoration, including how these techniques can be viewed as creating surfaces and skins. What interests Chaudry, specifically, is the immediate dichotomy created by a surface and of what lies below; of how the artifice of a patina can elicit a desire to delve beneath.
A growing awareness of the intersections of his identity have brought Chaudry to this point in his practice. Whether British, Pakistani, Muslim or Gay, a deeper and closer scrutiny of their interplay has made him aware of the ‘performance’ of living. He sees the narrative of our lives – which we edit and shape daily – as being clothed in a multitude of surfaces, both literal and metaphysical. And he is interested in what happens when these surfaces collide; of the transgressive identities, the ruptures and the ripples these create.
From an art historical perspective, it is the flamboyance of the Baroque which captures Chaudry’s imagination, as well as the grand narratives of religion and ceremony. A re-imagining of these sacred cows through the lens of a Queer man, has given his practice a wry tinge and coupled with this, he firmly believes in art’s capacity to entertain and be fabulous.