Meet Soma – design abstractions from within the cell by Abid Javed
Get ready to experience Soma and deep dive into the fascinating world that exists under the microscope at London Design Festival
A mesmerizing debut exhibition of scientist and artist Abid Javed and a part of the awaited London Design Festival – Select-Works delightfully announces the opening of Soma. As a celebration of art objects for modern sanctuaries – Select-Works curates contemporary sculptures for intentional spaces, considering their pieces as anchor points to environments and identities.
Drawing collections from the worlds of ceramics and collectible design, they connect with early-career artists and designers, supporting them at a pivotal point of practice.
From the 21st to 24th September at the festival – Soma showcases Javed’s unparalleled harmonious blend of science and design, through an ambitious range of ceramic sculptures, lighting installations and furniture designs.
Based in east London and as a research scientist specializing in molecular biology, he seamlessly reimagines microscopic cellular forms and biological narratives seen in the laboratory. And the result of that? Refreshingly new breathtaking identities as sculpted clay bodies.
Drawing from references from 20th Century art and design to Islamic art and geometry – he effortlessly brings this unseen world to light through truly one-of-a-kind distinct abstract ceramic forms.
“I want people to come away feeling inspired – seeing new shapes and forms that can make them feel and wonder. I want people to experience the beauty in ceramic textures combined with other materials, made into functional objects or simply sculptures!” shares Javed fondly.
In his collection design abstractions from within the cell invites the viewer to enter the inner walls of a cell, to explore its rich dynamic landscape and gravitate towards the powerful genetic center – the nucleus.
Much like the fluid body of a cell, the space becomes host to a microcosm of cellular and molecular networks, demonstrated as sculptural ceramic bodies existing together as one.
The starting point of Soma begins with sculptural ceramics as cellular compartments – the parts of the cell tasked with collecting and transporting vital information as precious cargo.
Journeying through this space one follows the complex inner workings of a cell, traveling via cellular vesicles, to molecular motors and finally to the tubular Plemorph sculptures, genetic structures informed by DNA – found at the central nucleus.
“It’s almost as if you are bearing witness to an abstract landscape, filled with microscopic species from inside a cell – just like a virus entering inside a cell!” he adds.
For Soma – Javed has produced two new bodies of ceramic works, the Cellular Compartment and Genetic Pleomorph series and has referenced past Pleomorph collections with the introduction of lighting and furniture complemented with beeswax, glass mirrors and simple metal forms.
Highlighting the largest body of ceramics by the artist to date – the exhibition features never-seen-before sculptural stools, table and floor lamps, wall sconces, mirrors, hanging mobiles, vessels and vase designs.
His ceramics are crafted utilizing white, black and brown stoneware, embodying a soft neutral palette and allowing the pieces themselves to take center stage.
Meticulously built by hand – each and every ceramic piece is beautifully made using a combination of pinch, slab and coil techniques before being sculpted into their final form, ready for firing in the kiln.
“This exhibition is both visual, textural and conceptual – I would like people to come with open minds in terms of thinking what design objects can be and how biology can redefine design!” concludes Javed.