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MANJOT KAUR

My drawings, paintings, and time-based media summon the mystical, scientific, and absurd to draw attention to current socio-political predicaments and the sovereignty of nature. Intersecting on the boundaries of speculative fiction, visual storytelling and myth-making, my current work explores the interconnection between humans and non-humans in the present times. Borrowed imagery and text bridge the past and present, while imaginative, fantasy-inducing zones of abstraction invite viewers to contemplate the legacies of the landscapes we occupy and exploit.  


With an attempt to decolonise both women's bodies and nature, I refer to archaic cultural symbols of fertility in order to reflect on present day reproduction rights of various species of flora and fauna other than agricultural plants. Cross Pollinating ancient mythologies and histories, I counter-narrate iconic motifs and attributes, and set them in juxtaposition with one another, to allow opportunities for critical reflection. Threaded throughout are revelations of sexuality, fecundity, kinship and freedom. 


My detailed and intimate paintings invite viewers to spend time with them and ponder over the symbiosis between humankind and ecology. How does the worlds that we create in fantasy impact our present day thinking practices? What are the consequences of fertility and the urge to procreate for human species? How do we mourn for what we have lost and what efforts are required to regain the biodiversity that is currently on the verge of extinction? How to create a sustainable and respectable corelation between biodiversity and human progress to future proof our planet for generations come? Rivers, forests, and intangible heritages have legal rights in certain nations; how might this notion be pushed further?


At times I set these concerns within mystical landscapes that meld images of regeneration, reproduction, cosmology, and microbiology. At the centre of these universes are fragile embryos, at turns more diagrammatic or lyrical, interwoven through vegetal and bacterial blooms. As humans and nature continue to adapt to ever-changing, increasingly hostile environments, my works offer both dire warnings and insulated, if uncertain, spheres of refuge.

 

Biography

 

Manjot is the recipient of scholarship by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, New Delhi for a stand-alone residency in Unidee, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistolleto, Italy. She has received professional category Annual Award, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi (State Academy of Art), Chandigarh, India, 2018; Sohan Qadri Fellowship, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (State Academy of Art), Chandigarh, India 2017; Professional and Student Category Annual Award, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, India, 2017 and 2012, respectively and Scholarship to Young Artists, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, India in 2011. She was chosen by Hindustan Times as one of the Top 30 under 30 young achievers in 2017.

 

She has been an artist in residence at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands 2020-21, Unidee, Citadellarte – Fondazione Pistolleto, Italy for the year 2018 on full scholarship by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, New Delhi; Museo Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno (Italy) – a cross-institutional program with Clark House Initiative, Mumbai, India; Khoj International Artists’ Association – Peers18, New Delhi; Mythos – Land Art Biel/Bienne, Switzerland 2017;  Gram Art Project - funded by FICA, India 2016; Harmony Art Foundation, Mumbai, India 2015; Global Nomadic Art Project, India 2015.

 

Her works are in the collection of Museo Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno (Italy), Govt. Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, India.  Personal collection (Prof. B. N. Goswamy) India, Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. 

 

Contact: manjotkaur14@gmail.com

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