Ben Uri collection

The Bands of Pride

Artist information

Name Hormazd Narielwalla (1979-)

Born Mumbai, India

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Hormazd Narielwalla holds a PhD from University of Arts, London. His field of research is a unique collage technique around the iconic brown paper of discarded tailoring patterns and his first solo show, “Study on Anansi”, was exhibited by Paul Smith in 2009. His solo display “Lost Gardens” was commissioned by the Southbank Centre, London (2016) and he has also held solo shows at the India Art Fair in Delhi and, in 2015, at the Museum of Fashion in Bath, UK. His work has been commissioned by the Crafts Council for the national touring exhibit “Block Party” (2011) and “Collect 13” at the Saatchi Gallery (2013). Hormazd Narielwalla won the Saatchi Showdown Art Prize (2014) and the Paupers Press Prize at the International Print Biennale, Newcastle (2016). His collaborations include Centre of Possible Studies/Serpentine Gallery, Beams Tokyo, V&A, Artbelow and Hyatt Regency London. His work is also in the permanent collection of the V&A.

Object Details

Date 2017

Object type mixed media

Medium 6 panel mixed media works-on-paper collages

Materials and techniques collage (medium) mixed media (technique) paper (support)

Unframed (each panel) 66 x 47 cm

Acquisition Presented by the artist

Accession number 2018-26

Display status not on display

“The Bands of Pride” (2017), commissioned by the Migrations Museum for their show “No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain”, is a multi-panel collage and a response to the Expulsion of Jewish people from England (1290). The artist comments: ‘I was shocked to discover that in 1274 Edward 1 forced Jewish people to wear two pieces of yellow felt. This dehumanizing racist decree was designed for Jewish people to become targets of discrimination. Other policies; of not being able to own property, not being able to recover debt owed to them, not being able to trade etc., finally led to the Expulsion. Clearly a minority was being scapegoated for the countries financial problems.

I started to think about this Decree in contemporary times: Could it happen? Only 70 years ago European Jewish people under German Nazi rule were forced to wear the Star of David, which led to a more unbelievably violent consequence. It made me think about how this dehumanizing policy would affect my Jewish friends. I approached all of them to supply me with photos of themselves and their families, which became an integral part of the commission. I also spoke to them about the choice of colour, and concluded that it cannot be yellow, as the work could be seen as a celebration of the Decree rather than my subjects.

I came across the Blue City: Chefchaouen in Morocco, where, notably, Jewish settlers painted all the houses in shades of blue. I decided the artwork would be made in shades of blue to celebrate Jewish culture and contributions’.

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