Resonating with the Earth

Fahmeeda Omar

Inspired by nature and her surroundings, Fahmeeda’s work reflects her love of this challenging medium. With porcelain, she is able to play with the contrasting notions of fragility and strength – its fragile appearance belies the medium’s strength. She leaves her work deliberately unglazed for aesthetic reasons.

Some of her works are coiled (by hand) whilst others, like her miniature pieces, are thrown on the potter’s wheel. Her patched series are slab built, using porcelain clay sheets. Leaving the work unglazed allows the delicacy of the individual coils and overlapped slabs to show, reminiscent of contour lines, especially when viewed from above or under the light. Her hand coiled porcelain pieces are by far my most adventurous and challenging works to date.

In addition to hand coiled pieces, she also creates mixed medium pieces that include paper porcelain and stones.

Genre: Ceramics

Format: Exhibition Capture

Ages: All ages

Duration: 8 – 31 July 2021

ABOUT THE ARTIST

I’ve been interested in art from a young age, but it was only when I began to study at the University of KwaZulu Natal (then UNP) that I took fine art more seriously. I graduated with my BAVA and was encouraged to study further by the late prof Julie Armstrong who became my friend and mentor through my years of studies. After graduation I went on to do my Honours and then MAFA degree. I started my PhD but unfortunately could not complete it. My thesis was on porcelain in South Africa with particular reference to students from UKZN including my own work.

I work predominantly in porcelain, a medium I was introduced to in my third year of study. I found the colour and the translucency fascinating. Juliet (being the rebel that she was) gave me some porcelain to experiment with at the end of third year. At first it was a daunting task as it is not like the earthenware and stoneware clay that I was so used to using in my three years of working with clay. But I stepped up to the challenge. She believed that this medium would suit my style of working. Porcelain is a unique and sometimes tricky medium to work, but the challenge is one of the things I love about it. I also love the translucency of this medium especially when it is high fired in the kiln. This technique gives my work a sense of fragility and yet due to the chemical composition of the medium it has enormous strength.

That introduction began my great love affair with porcelain and I have never looked back. Inspired by nature and my surroundings I began my porcelain journey. I do dabble with stoneware every now and then but will always go back to using porcelain.

In the past I have participated in several group exhibitions. I also have pieces in both private and public collections, such as the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg and the William Humphrey Art Gallery in Kimberley.