ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sunaina Khandelwal is an Artist and Independent Curator of Indian origin based in Toronto and has graduated with an MA in Fine Art from the University of the Arts London, UK. Her curatorial work focuses on themes surrounding identity, cultural equality and ethnic diversity within the artworld. As a result, she looks to research and support BIPOC communities on a local and international scale by conducting artist interviews, exhibitions and moderating discussion panels.
Khandelwal's practice explores the status and meaning of colour within the contemporary art world as she investigates the interplay between Indian and Western art culture through the lens of pigment history. Khandelwal's paintings embody an abstracted personality that reflects her multifaceted identity; growing up in a society where the western culture overpowered other cultures. The artist believes that colour is often perceived merely as a picture making tool whilst the significance of its pre-existing cultural ideologies and histories are overlooked. As a result, her work is concerned with how the pigments we painters use today, act as contemporary re-enactments of their historic selves by manifesting an essence of a cultural past that is embedded within their materiality.
The artist often creates her own pigments from clay, rocks and charcoal in order to reference fragments of a material history from a contemporary position. The process of hammering, crushing, mixing and grinding the pigment into paint plays an integral role in Khandelwal's practice since this resonates with how colours were created throughout Indian art History and the prehistoric era. Through this process, the artist retraces pigments history from a contemporary perspective. Alongside the use of handmade pigment, Khandelwal's artworks incorporate 'store bought' oil paints as she looks to question how the specific categorisation of these contemporary colours challenges our visual perception of the artworks we encounter.