Indigo by Laura Kina and Shelly Jyoti

Opening First Thursday January 6, 2011
ArtXchange Gallery presents Indigo, a traveling exhibition previously exhibited in major cities throughout India and now crossing to the US, January 6 through February 26, 2011. The exhibition presents complementary bodies of artwork by Indian artist Shelly Jyoti and US artist Laura Kina in a range of media including hand-embroidery on khadi fabric, Sanskrit calligraphy and mixed-media on canvas. The narrative threads running throughout the artists’ work evoke India’s colonial history, stories of immigration, and the tensions and transformations of cultures evolving in a globalized world.

Shelly Jyoti’s Indigo Narratives use indigo dyes, traditional heritage symbols, Sanskrit calligraphy, and tribal embroidery. Her work uses textile techniques and icons specific to different cultural groups throughout India’s history, exploring how preservation or flux of craft traditions can illustrate historical migrations, conflicts, and politics of power and control. Jyoti also uses symbols referencing the life of Mahatma Gandhi and literary texts such as Neel Darpan, a revolutionary play essential to the Indigo Revolt, an uprising of indigo farmers that arose in Bengal in 1859. Jyoti is a visual artist, fashion designer, poet, researcher and independent curator based in Vadodara, India.

Laura Kina’s Devon Avenue Sampler series focuses on imagery from the immigrant neighborhood in which she lives. Devon Avenue is a Chicago South Asian/Jewish corridor which boasts two honorary street titles – Gandhi Marg and Golda Meir Blvd. Her samplings of Devon Ave.’s poly-cultural street signs are created using indigo dye, khadi fabric, a generous dose of Gujarat-style mirrored bling and Jewish tzitzit inspired tassels. Kina is an Associate Professor of Art, Media and Design, Vincent de Paul Professor, at DePaul University. Her Devon Avenue Sampler series is funded in part by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and a University Research Council Grant from DePaul University.