EDUCATION
B.F.A. in Drawing & Painting, OCAD University

EXHIBITION RECORD 

2015 True Mirage – Printed works by Todd Westendorp (Curatorial), HUNTCLUB, Toronto, ON
2015 The Embellished Lens (Solo), Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2015 Object Manipulating Economy/Economy Manipulating Object (Group), August Frohls, Mönchengladbach, Germany
2014 Afrika Galaktika, Art League Houston (Solo), Houston, Texas
2014 Third Culture, OCADU Student Gallery (Group) Toronto, ON
2014 FUTURESCAPE, OCADU Student Gallery (Curatorial) Toronto,ON
2013 Illuminated Mythologies, Mark Christopher Gallery (Solo) Toronto,ON
2013 With Pleasure, HUNTCLUB (Group) Toronto,ON
2012 Art With Heart, National Auction by Casey House Toronto,ON
2012 Margin of Errors (Group) Gladstone Gallery, Toronto, ON
2011 You Worship Us, Katzman Kamen Gallery (Solo) Toronto, ON
2011 The New Archeology/The New Ethnography,Gallery 129 (Solo) Toronto, ON 

AWARDS & GRANTS

Medal for Drawing and Painting, OCAD University 2011
Nora E. Vaughan Award, OCAD University 2011
First Capital Realty, Imagination Zone Award 2011
Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant 2014

TALKS & SEMINARS

Artist Talk in conjunction with South Asian Film Week, University of Waterloo 2011
HustleHard Art Works, Drake Hotel, Toronto 2014
Alumni Series Artist Talk, OCAD University 2014, 2015

RESIDENCIES

Fusion of Art and Culture Residency, OCAD University in conjunction with the International Federation on Ageing (Canada) and Gallery Soyut – Ankara (Istanbul) 2014
Synbiota Lab Artist Residency, Liberty Village, Toronto 2014

PUBLICATIONS / PRESS

Interview: Drawing from the Moghuls, ARTRA Magazine, October/November Issue 2015
Interview: WORN Fashion Journal, The New Ethnography, Final Double-Issue 19/20, December 2014
Featured: JUXTAPOZ Online, September 2014
Interview: Kyoorius.com, Dialogue: Rajni Perera by Preksha Sharma, March 13th 2014
Interview: Hazlitt Magazine Online: Visual Collages in Immigrant Art by Anupa Mistry, July 5th 2013
Featured: JUXTAPOZ Online, September 2013
Featured: BLINK Photography Magazine, RAJNI PERERA, Holiday 2013 Issue #30
Interview: Hermann & Audrey - TORONTO THE BRAVE, December 2013
Review: The National Post, At the Galleries: A Plethora of Paintings by Leah Sandals, Sept 23, 2011
Interview: Squidface & The Meddler illustration blog, Rajni Perera, May 22nd 2011

 

RAJNI PERERA
Lives and works in Toronto, Canada
b. 1985
 

I explore issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the indexical sciences, ethnography, gender, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters and dream worlds. All of these themes marry in a newly objectified realm of mythical symbioses. They are flattened on the medium and made to act as my personal record of impossible discoveries.

My approach to the deconstruction of the non-European, female body image, delving into the miniaturist aesthetic as in “The New Ethnology”, “The New Archaeology” and the “Yogini” series, manifests itself in the form of re-appropriated religious icons. Leveraging embellished photographic portraiture as in “Maharajas” and “Maharanis” challenges contemporary notions of masculinity viewed through the non-European, female lens.By painting these object-beings, I am engaging in a discussion with the viewing audience about the aesthetic treatment of gender and the non-European sacred and secular body in a popular culture context.

These saccharine women and stoic men, flaunting their blood, breasts and armor around and throughout the stretched paper surface, conceal violent stories and ideologies; a complex dichotomy that is not explored or discussed in internationally (or more particularly Western) circulated imagery of Hindu and Tantric gods and goddesses. It is much the same for the ethnic body image, as represented in print media and online or screen culture. The semiology becomes reduced, simplified and pared down to suit a blander ideological palette.

In my work, I seek to open and reveal the dynamism of these icons, both scripturally existent, self-invented and externally defined. I am creating a subversive aesthetic that counteracts antiquated, oppressive discourse, and acts as a restorative force through which people can move outdated, repressive modes of being towards reclaiming their power.

Negarra Akili Kudumu