I am a glass artist and make glass appliques, architectural and art stained glass, glass paintings, and drawings. I am always conscious of the history of the stained glass craft when designing new pieces but am reviving this ancient art form to create new and exciting contemporary pieces.
Visually I am particularly interested in maps (both modern and historic), diagrams and aerial photographs and these have informed a lot of my work. These items are a visual representation of an area depicting the relationships between elements and objects in that space. They can show the way and highlight barriers and in this way give us a different perspective on the world to reveal things previously hidden. This additional vantage point helps us to explore and understand the world. I am also inspired by dalle-de-verre – a technique popular in the 1960s where glass billets are set in concrete to form windows. I combine different techniques such as glass painting, fusing and glass mosaic to create flat and sometimes 3D artworks.
I am ‘mixed race’ and this has led me to think about what the term ‘race’ really means. Every human being is the culmination of thousands of unique partnerships. Although we often don’t know much about more than the last couple of generations of our family. Given that we all have that unbroken line back to pre-history, the idea of being ‘mixed race’ is at once factual but also a little ridiculous. My own recent heritage is easy to explain as facts – English, Pakistani, Baltic States, Irish or to give it other labels, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, no belief or white and brown. However, do any of those labels really define me? Not really. Its the combination that is the most important thing to me – the intermingling of all those strands which make us at once unique and the same. We tend to see ourselves as a mixture of the most recent generations of our families. This is understandable given your proximity in terms of time but less logical when considered in the wider view of history.
This approach also only considers your genetic makeup and not your cultural heritage. This is much more interesting to me – it is something you can choose to embrace, find intrusive in your life, ignore or long to know more about and everybody has a unique pattern. Cultural traditions, ideas and norms can vary widely and how you choose to embrace or reject, and in what combination makes you who you are. It’s what makes the world an interesting place to me – the huge variety in this single basic biological entity – the person – it makes people infinitely variable, inexplicable, frustrating, lovable, loathsome, admirable, despicable, divine and awful… and hugely interesting.
My view is that we are all so much more than the labels assigned to us and at the same time we all share the same biological beginnings. We are at once the same and unique. I am exploring these ideas in my work and making pieces that respond to the currently accepted concepts of race, identity and belonging.
Member of Axisweb: https://www.axisweb.org/p/munazuberi/
Born: London 1968.
2017: 3rd Prize, Stevens Competition for Architectural Glass (Architectural Glass Artist of the Year), Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.
2014: Prize for Presentation, Stevens Competition for Architectural Glass (Architectural Glass Artist of the Year), Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.
2011: Ashton Hill Award, The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.
10 week funded placement at Barley Studios, York – a design and restoration studio.
2020: (forthcoming), Sheree & Co, applique panel, private client
2019: (forthcoming), Desire Lines applique panel, private client
2015: Cullin Hills architectural applique glass window commission, private client
2013: Through the Leaves architectural applique glass window commission, private client
2014: Art in the Garden at the Sir Harold Hiller Gardens, nr Romsey
2012 -13: Stargazing, Mottisfont Abbey near Portsmouth
The National Trust. Commissioned mosaic panel for sculpture trail
2021: Letchworth Open, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth Garden City
2021: Hands Across the World, Contemporary Glass Society online exhibition
2020: The Hive Project, The Howard Centre. Community engagement project
2019: British Glass Biennale 2019 at the International Festival of Glass, Stourbridge
2019: Courtyard Arts Open, Hertford
2018: Harlow Open 2018, Gibberd Gallery (Commended)
2017: Past Futures, Gatehouse Arts, Harlow
2017: New Works II, Gatehouse Arts, Harlow
2015: Bits and Pieces, Contemporary Glass Society online exhibition
2013: Death and Decadence, The Gallery, Stoke Newington, London
2013: Par-al-lax, Mile End Art Pavilion, London
2013: Rising Stars, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham
2012 : Stargazing, Mottisfont Abbey
2010: South London Women Artists at the Bankside Gallery, London
2009: In-House – The Kowalsky Gallery, Clerkenwell
2009: New to DACS, The Kowalsky Gallery, Clerkenwell
2008: Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
First Biennial RBSA Open Portrait Award, Birmingham
2008: The Society of Women Artists – 147th Annual Open Exhibition, Mall Galleries
2008: Romance – The Kowalsky Gallery, Clerkenwell
2007: Stick*Stamp*Fly, Gasworks, Vauxhall
2007: Arts Unwrapped, Studio event
2006: The Empire’s Christmas Art Fair: The Empire Gallery, East London
2006: ‘Tri Summer Fest’- Pepperton Gallery, Croydon
2006: ‘In Quest’ – Pepperton Gallery, Croydon
2012: Architectural Glass Level 4 Workshop in Painting with Silver Stain and Enamels, School of Architectural Glass, Swansea
2011: Architectural Glass Level 4 Workshop in Glass Painting, School of Architectural Glass, Swansea
2010: Stained Glass Workshop, CEL, Lewisham
2010: Glass Engraving, Morley College
2010: Stained Glass Repair, CEL, Lewisham
1997 – 2001: BSc (Hons) Computer Information Systems Design (Multimedia Pathway), Kingston University
1995 – 97: Advanced GNVQ Information Technology, Croydon College
1984 – 86: Btec General Art and Design, Croydon College
2016: Tutor – copper foil workshop, Artshed, Ware
2009/10/11/12: Curated Normanton Hall site for Sydenham Arts Festival