JANUARY 26- APRIL 27 2013

 20 Feet high site specific Installation view  at chicago Rooms at chicago cultural center


 About the project

Employing fair trade artisans from women’s collectives in India and executing their works in indigo blue, Indian artist Shelly Jyoti and US artist Laura Kina’s works draw upon India’s history, narratives of immigration and transnational economic interchanges.

Shelly Jyoti’s Indigo Narratives refers to India’s history of 19th century indigo farmers, their oppression in deltaic region and Mahatma Gandhi’s subsequent non-violent resistance that began India’s freedom struggle (Champaran movement 1917-18). The works utilize traditional embroidery by rural women in Bhuj (Gujarat) with support of Shrujan: Threads of Life and indigo resist dyeing/ printing on khadi fabric with the 9th generation ajrakh artisans of Gujarat.

Laura Kina’s Devon Avenue Sampler is a portrait of her diasporic South Asian/Jewish Chicago neighborhood of West Roger’s Park and features a bricolage of pop street signage rendered in patchwork quilt paintings by the artist as well as works that were hand embroidered by artisans from MarketPlace: Handwork of India, a fair trade women’s organization in Mumbai, India.

Despite coming from vastly different backgrounds, Jyoti and Kina decided to collaborate in 2008 after seeing that they share a mutual interest in textiles, pattern and decoration, and Asian history. They began by thinking about the Silk Road intersections of their own ethnic and national positions in relation to fabrics. Jyoti lived for many years in Gujarat India, a region famed for their bold embellished textiles and as the home of Mahatma Gandhi. Kina was born in California to an Okinawan father from Hawaiʻi and an Anglo/Basque American mother from the Pacific Northwest. She now lives and works in Chicago’s “Little India,” a vibrant multiethnic immigrant community.

The common thread between their complimentary bodies of work is the color indigo blue from India’s torrid colonial past, to indigo-dyed Japanese kasuri fabrics and boro patchwork quilts, through blue threads of a Jewish prayer tallis, to the working class blue jeans in the United States.

The show has been written by leading newspapers, magazines, TV and critiqued by well-known Indian and international art critics.

Online catalog:

View Shelly Jyoti’s work

View  laura kina’s works
The fair trade organizations laura kina to produce some of my works is
One of the orgs Shelly worked with is Shrujan Threads of Life


EXHIBITION Schedule 2009-2013

2013 January -until April 27 2013 – Chicago Cultural Center – IL USA
2011 May Diana Lowenstein Gallery Maimi USA
2011 January Art exchange Gallery Seattle USA
12 -18 January, 2010 Nehru Center Worli, Mumbai, India.
23-28 December, 2009 Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre New Delhi India
15-16 December, 2009 Red Earth Art Gallery, Baroda, Gujarat India.


Indigo:Shelly Jyoti & Laura kina 2009-13

January 30,2013 Artist Talk –’Quilting , Art history and Metaphor’ DePaul University students With Prof Jean Bryan Chicago Rooms, Chicago Cultural Center

January 31,2013 Public Lecture Artist talk- ‘Indigo:Shelly Jyoti & Laura kina’ Shelly Jyoti, Laura kina and Pushpika Frietas ,Chicago Rooms, Chicago Cultural Center

February 11,2013 Artist Talk-‘ Indigo:Shelly Jyoti & Laura kina’ Art Institute of Chicago, students with Prof Nora Taylor- Asian Art Now , Chicago Cultural Center
February 20,2013 Artist Talk: Art Institute of Chicago,Textile Society, Chicago Cultural Center

2011Lecture &Talk “collaborations :Indian and US Artist” WomanMade Gallery

2009 Lecture & Talk 31st December -Forum for Contemporary Theory Baroda
Lecture “The Politics of Indigo : Revisting India’s Torrid Colonial past”