An interdisciplinary social activist artist, I use installation, work on paper, digital media, film, and collaboration to construct contemporary global narratives that echo my own. Born of mixed north-south Indian parentage in a country known for caste and color-based discrimination, patriarchy, and misogyny, married an African-Caribbean man, mother of bi-racial children, life and work in three regions of the globe: these experiences mark my realities. My practice critically yet emotively responds to biased constructions and dichotomies within conventions, transcending traditionally imposed constraints on media, material, and simultaneously eliminate those social inequities.
In the past eleven years my primary concentration has been on unearthing invisible stories of misogyny and unpacking patriarchal motifs and conventional approaches to media and material. Interacting with the victims-survivors of misogyny led me to identify with their trauma, grief, rage. Interviewing them opened emotions I felt nearly every day of my life as a female growing up in the patriarchal world of India.
My interest in three-dimensional and tactile elements, draws me to manipulating traditional processes and materials to express these emotions. Moving away from delicately etched copper plates, skillfully cut woodblocks, I started using wood-burning tools to create wood intaglio with deep-scorched marks and coarse-textured collagraph plates. These enabled the matrix to retain heavier deposits of ink, resulting in works with intense marks, rich tactile surfaces, and transforming the rectangular print on paper into dripping molten liquid shapes.
But flat paper, no matter how tactile, was not enough to translate these open wounds and urgency to push forward. To emulate these intense emotions my forms needed to be three dimensional, soft and fluid. I gravitated toward exploring and manipulating fiber processes, sometimes adopting a new technique, or simply using the yarn to capture a raw emotion.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Indrani Nayar-Gall has been exhibiting for over thirty years. Her important solo and small group exhibitions include Greenhill Center for NC Art; Winthrop University; Elon University; Levine Museum of the New South; Row Gallery, UNC Charlotte; Gallery C, Cleveland State University. Her juried/curated shows include NWCA, Occupy the Moment, Bridgeport Art Center, curator Maura Reilly; Loving Blackness, Asian Arts Initiative; India-Inked, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; Ornate-Activate, Villa Terrace Museum, Milwaukee; Gendered, Mint Museum; Caribbean Art at the Crossroad, Perez Museum; Brentwood Art Exchange; Queens Museum; The Black Diaspora, Barbados; IPCNY New Prints, Christie’s Midtown Manhattan; IV Bienal Del Caribe: Santo Domingo. In 2021 she completed her feature-length documentary (to be screened in HAAPIFEST in June 2022), and her first short documentary in December 2016, completed in December 2016, was screened at various festivals. Her important grants include 2021 Artist Renewal Fellowship, Artist Support Grant, 2021 and 2014 Arts and Science Council Charlotte/Mecklenburg; 2011 Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund, UNC Charlotte; 2009 National Gallery of Barbados; 2007 Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant. Her work appears in various catalogs and publications.
Indrani earned an MFA in 1995 from Visva Bharati University with a concentration in printmaking, a graduate certificate in 2004 in Contemporary Non-toxic Printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology and a diploma in education from University of West Indies. Her artistic career started in Barbados with teaching and studio practice. Migrating to the U.S. she taught part-time at Western Michigan University and UNC Charlotte until 2012. Indrani lives in Charlotte and continues her art practice there.
© Indrani Nayar-Gall