Born in Hong Kong spending most of his childhood there, before moving to Pakistan and then to England where he remains, artist Abid Javed’s background is a culmination of his time spent in these three places - picking up three different languages and three different cultures.
Abid Javed’s artistic journey has been as dynamic and non-traditional as his background is. During his PhD in biochemistry, while dabbling with painting and illustration on the side, Javed was enamoured by the visual aspect of biology with its array of storylines. This enamourment compelled him to find a medium that would allow him to translate these storylines in 3D. After a beginner’s course at a ceramics studio where Javed aimed to learn about all things ceramic, he devoted two years to establish a research and development approach to making ceramics.
In contrast to Abid Javed’s day job, where he looks at the complexities found in structures in biology, his ceramic work strives for simplicity. By shedding all details and looking at objects transparently and into their skeletal architecture, Javed’s work takes an abstract turn to bringing biological concepts and forms to life via sculptures and vessels.
The pieces Abid Javed has created for The Ode To come from an on-going collection called Pleomorphs. This is a series of collectible sculptures and vessels made in a range of clay bodies, that explore the concept of molecules changing shapes. Each piece is carefully designed and formed around a storyline, all drawing from the behaviour of viruses, proteins and DNA. All pieces are handbuilt using a combination of pinching, coiling and slab methods. All being hollow forms, they are often left raw after firing to leave behind each clay body’s tactile nature.
It is also the tactile nature of Abid Javed’s work that brings to mind the work of artists such as Jean Arp, Isamu Noguchi and Brancusi, who Javed admires. Perhaps more notable is the sense of duality that exists in both Javed’s pieces, but also his artistry, that is reminiscent of these great sculptors. The way Javed's sculptures are designed, allows not only for shapes to take place through the sculptures themselves, but also in the negative spaces that occur - not allowing one to exist without the other. Much like Javed’s artistry itself, where his intriguing artistic expression wouldn’t be able to exist without his assured knowledge of biology. See Abid Javed’s full collection here.