European Art History teaches us that the development of art and culture took a very particular path through the centuries to end up with where we are today. Any record of artists working outside of this path, as in, outside of a civilised Western History, simply became footnoted. An ‘Other’ form of art that sparked in a distant land but did not influence the main stream of history, as they’d like to think. But history is written by powerful men of their times, and times, they are a-changing. Starting with powerful female artists like Rajni Perera.
Reminiscent of both miniature painting techniques and Pop art, Perera describes her fascinating embellished photography series in her own words “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.” Perera’s aim is to express the dynamism, intricacies and force of these otherworldly ‘object-beings’, to counter-act an outdated historical discourse.
Originally from Sri Lanka, Rajni Perera (1985) was raised between her homeland, Australia and Canada. She graduated from The Ontario College of Fine Art in 2014 and was presented with the medal for Drawing and Painting in her year while she was at it. Rajni works through her own identity issues, namely being a non-white artists creating non-white works, by envisioning the place of the diasporic person in a surreal future.