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Gowharshad Begum

Gowharshad Begum

This specially commissioned artwork for the Embassy of the I. R. of Afghanistan in London consists of around 300 handcrafted wooden tiles made of American Walnut. The brief expressed a requirement for the work to connect to Afghanisan and Afghan heritage, while anchorting it in the present time with optimism for the future.


We drew inspiration from Afghan architecutre, specifically the ceramic tiles of various colours of blue used in many historic buildings around the country. Using a hexagonal grid as the basis of the work, we produced three types of tiles made of timber - jali, chip carved, and faceted - and used them to create an energetic work that while evoking traditional Afghan elements, as a whole is contemporary . The organic and abstract compostion and colourful patchwork are meant to reflect the dynamism of the Afghan society today.


The work consists of two parts: the upper section, which is a transparent, multi-layered jali element, and the lower part, which is mainly solid wooden tiles formed to reminisce of Afghan origami topography and landscape. Each part consits of 4 to 6 irregular clusters of hexagons, which allow the work to be installed in a variety of compositions, together or separately.


Just over half of the tiles are traditional Afghan jali designs and incorporate over 3000 handcrafted lap joints using time-honoured Afghan techniques. The rest are hand-carved or hand-formed (faceted) hexagons, individually painted in colours of lapis and turquoise - two types of semi-precious stones Afghanistan is known for. The carved tiles are done in the Nuristani chip carving style. Finally, the work is finished with Danish oil to bring out the natural grain and lustre of the timber. All in all the work has taken over 450 man-hours to produce.


All Lazo Studio pieces are made to order and each is completely unique.


This is a special commission artwork. For a rough guide price please contact us, as it is subject to change depending on individual specifications.


If you would like to commission a piece like this, then please contact us to discuss your requirements.

American Walnut and Acrylic Paint

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