Jude Maharmah

Artist Statement

Light, materiality, scale, and texture are fundamental elements that shape the sculptural forms of my artistic practice. Through the creation of iterative clay sculptures that extrapolate shapes, exaggerate their geometries, and manipulate their resultant shadows by creating sets of connected elements, I form cohesive compositions that question the notion of permanence. The compositions are fundamentally an exploration of ruin, inspired by the fragility of their composite materials and the juxtaposition of rigid and immobile blocks set against a sporadic arrangement that reverses the conformity of built form. Only in ruin are we confronted by the fragility of our own ambitions. Only in decay do we reflect on the arrogance of man to insist on permanence despite the inevitable temporality of all creation. Inspired by a childhood familiarity with local landmarks, and my personal experience of their subjection to age, decay, or demolition, the deconstruction of built form and its abstraction into modular sets of nondescript elements inspires my practice.  

My works explore the dynamic interplay between the fundamental elements identified, creating a framework and system through which their constant rearrangement and assemblage can challenge the viewer’s interpretation of the collective set. The viewer becomes a key component in the evolution of the shifting forms and is invited to participate in the dynamic dialogue with the structure to explore the temporality of forms. My practice delves into joint-making as a metaphorical exploration encompassing thoughtful contemplation behind the factors that drive these iterative actions. As an object-maker, my work primarily utilizes two materials: clay, sourced from the earth, and PVC piping that facilitates the assembly of these sculptural elements. The deliberate choice to pair such contrasting materials reflects my fascination with integrating known and unconventional materials with simple forms, opening the door for multiple possibilities. This approach draws inspiration from the principles of architectural construction, where supplementary components like structural braces or bolted connections serve  practical and functional roles.  

PVC piping, known for its endless configurations and functionality, serves as a touchstone for my work, inspiring a similar pursuit of endless forms and arrangements. My other medium of choice, clay, introduces a distinct divergence from PVC's utilitarian charm. This deliberate material shift from the industrial to the artisanal redefines the interaction between the work and its audience. PVC piping, with its familiar nature, naturally encourages physical engagement. Its very essence invites viewers to grasp, connect, and manipulate, thus facilitating a hands-on comprehension of its purpose and possibilities. In contrast, the use of clay evokes a different kind of engagement. The delicacy and perceived fragility of clay sculptures instill a sense of reverence, prompting viewers to pause and reconsider their impulse to touch. This hesitancy does not diminish the connection between the viewer and the work; rather, it shifts the mode of interaction from tactile to visual, encouraging a more contemplative approach. Observers are drawn into a closer visual dialogue with the piece. This nuanced interplay between material choice and viewer interaction highlights the intricate balance between form, function, and space.


Jude Maharmeh (b. 2000) is an architect and multidisciplinary artist, whose current artistic practice delves into the complexities of abstraction, examining form, light, materiality, and texture, skillfully interwoven with architectural elements. Grounded in the fundamental principles of architecture, Jude's creations transcend the realm of mere exercises, evolving into dynamic and expressive artworks that explore the nuances of the built environment. 

At the core of Jude's creative process lies the strategic use of repetition, serving as a central and defining element, resulting in meticulous iterative processes that emerge from material explorations.  This deliberate approach transforms each piece into an engaging dialog, inviting viewers to interpret the artwork actively and sculpturally, fostering a dynamic relationship between the creation, its environment, and the observer, whereby questions around the work’s expression of form and materiality are explored. 

Jude received her Bachelor's degree in Architecture with honors (Cum Laude) from the American  University of Sharjah. Among her numerous accomplishments, she has been honored with the AEDAS Architecture Design Award, the American Institute for Architects (AIA) Academic  Excellence Award, and the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.