Sixth Annual IAAC 2009 Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary
Indian Art of the Diaspora

Indrani Nayar-Gall

Indrani Nayar-Gall

Artist Statement

My personal life's journey from my native land India to different geographical regions has made me aware of issues related to identity, ethnicity and race relations. Navigating through three regions of the globe I have seen how changes in population demographics create subtle shifts in perceptions of who regard themselves as the nation and who are regarded as marginal.

In recent years, increased ethnic and sectarian violence in the world has shifted my focus from migration as a personal journey to forced migration, displacement and genocide. The present body of work speaks of the victims of genocide globally, but makes special reference to the ethnic cleansing of the people of Darfur by the regime of Omar El Bashir.

Why genocide? How much hatred, desire for power and control, determination to 'have,' drives a person to want to erase another and feel absolutely no remorse? And how we, the citizens of this world, respond, relate or react to these atrocities? The answers to all of these are complex and multi-dimensional, so the use of printmaking and drawing, the media I have mainly used for my work, seemed no longer adequate to construct these realities. Hence this work is spatial, multi-dimensional, and incorporates sound and moving images. It needed to be a collective effort comprehend, inform and be an effective action. I have succeeded to some extent in this process, but it is only a beginning. A small group of friends and family, fellow artists, colleagues and most importantly some very special young individuals of different ethnic, religious and geographical origins have made self-less contributions to this cause.

I see the phenomenon of genocide/xenophobia/ethnic cleansing all bound up within the binaries of Powerful/Powerless; Life/Life Taken; Victor/Victim.

The work combines two dimensional with three dimension and time-based media, color with absence of color; perfect forms of spheres/circles with deformed or organic; prickly hard with soft flesh-like yarns; smooth transparent with opaque and menacing, tender raindrop with rough deep red balls;wrapping/looping with piercing transparent threads; sound with silence. It attempts to understand the paradox of conjoined opposites, the fear/trauma/sadness/loss/death with hope/dream of life that exist within all of us. By using them in this way we create solidarity with the victims; we identify with them.

This work is really a beginning; hopefully it will be followed by many more, which will add to those voices decrying genocide and raise our consciousness against the fear and hatred that compel us to these atrocities.


Indrani Nayar-Gall was born in the city of Kolkata, India. She obtained her BFA (1980) with the guidance of Prof. Somnath Hore and MFA in1995 from Visva Bharati University. She moved to Barbados in the 80's with her husband Dr. David Gall; lived, taught and practiced art there until 2003. After moving to the USA she did further studies in Contemporary Non-Toxic printmaking at RIT, NY. Indrani now teaches part-time atWestern Michigan University and is engaged in diverse art practices. She continues to research the field of contemporary non-toxic printmaking and combine it with other media in her art practice.

Since her move to United States Indrani has been examining issues related to migration, displacement, acculturation and hybridization.Her present focus has moved toward forced migration, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

She has exhibited regionally, internationally, and represented Barbados many times in international shows.

Individual Exhibitions

  • 2008 October, Arts Council Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
  • 2007 Jan.19-Feb.10, Cleveland State University, Gallery C, OH, USA
  • 2006 November Kingscott Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
  • 2005 Water Street Coffee Joint Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
  • 1996 Arrows - Barbados Museum Gallery, Barbados
  • 1995 Oh civilization! - Chitrakut Gallery, Calcutta, India

Selected Recent Collective Exhibitions

  • 2008 Juried Member Show, Mid America Print Council,
    Erasing Border, Traveling Juried Show,Indo-American Arts Council, New York, NY; Tabla Rasa Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The Guild Gallery, Manhattan, NY;Brownson Art Gallery, Manhattanville College, Purchase,Westchester, NY; Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY; Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows, NY
  • 2007 Western Michigan University Faculty Exhibition, Kalamazoo, MI Paths To The Press, Juried Exhibition, Dicere Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 2006 The Transferred Image, Juried Show, 33 Collective Gallery, Chicago, USA; Our Town, Group Show (Invitational), Epic Center, Kalamazoo, MI, USA, Contemporary Printmaking, University Of Indianapolis (invitational), USA; Portfolio, Southern Graphics (Invitational), USA
  • 2005 Juried Mid America Print Council Members Exhibition, Central Michigan University Gallery, MI, USA; Empowering Images - Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC USA (SGC); Annual Print Exchange - Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI USA
  • 2003 'Cuatro' Four Artists, AICA Conference - Central Bank of Barbados, Barbados Annual Faculty Show - Barbados Community College, Barbados
  • 2002 First Contact: Invitational, Non-Toxic printmaking,Dumfries, Scotland IV Bienal Del Caribe: Santo. Domingo, Dominican Republic (one of the most important biennial of the Caribbean region)


  • 2008 Faculty Dev. Grant, Western Michigan University
  • 2007 Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant, Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
  • 2001 1st Prize, National Mural Contest, NCF, Barbados 2000Gold, Central Bank Purchase Award, Crop-Over Festival, Barbados National Competition

Lectures/ Public Speaking Engagement/ Media Appearences

  • 2007 Artist's Talk and Demonstration: Central Michigan University, MI, USA
    Columbia College of Art & Design, Chicago, USA
    Artist's Talk: Lalit Kala Academy, Kolkata, India, Visva Bharati University, India
    Gallery talk, Cleveland State University, OH, USA
    Western Michigan University, MI
    "Myth and Self", June 2007 issue, Ratsalad DeLuxe, a quasi-quarterly online journal

Selected Public And Private Collections

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. USA, '06 (SGC)
  • Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington D.C, USA, '05 (SGC)
  • Southern Graphics Council, USA
  • Barbados: National Art Gallery of Barbados, Ministry of Education
  • Central Bank of Barbados and Art Collection Foundation
  • F.W. Mestre Collection of Caribbean Art, Miami
  • Agart Art Association, World Print Festival, Slovenia
  • Private collections in Barbados, India, Australia, England, France and USA007

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