Par Nair (she/her) is an Indian born interdisciplinary artist and researcher who lives and makes in the GTA. Her practice which centers oil paintings, embroidery, installation, performative work and creative writing focus on dual identities, hybrid cultures and fragmented realities of migrants. Par has recently acquired her Mater's (MFA) in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCAD University. In 2022, her works were shown at Project Casa (Montreal), Mayten’s Gallery (Toronto), The Public Gallery (Toronto), Propeller Art Gallery(Toronto) and Nelson Civic Centre (Etobicoke). Par is the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-22), The Career Launcher Prize (2022) and Propeller Gallery’s Emerging Artist Award (2020). She currently holds the position of sponsored member at Propeller Art Gallery and assists the gallery with social media and marketing tasks.

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Instagram: @parnairr

Artist Statement

I investigate and explore melancholia in diaspora using decolonial methods and a return to ancestral knowledge and practices. Through objects and memories that are both intimate and estranged, I wish to consider the effects of assimilation and fragmentation that migrant experiences hold. Using interdisciplinary artistic practices that center performative film, oil paintings, installations, embroidery, digital collage, poetry and short stories, my work is a play on expectations and translations of racialized and migrant bodies. I aim to empower racialized bodies through ritual while celebrating symbols of beauty like the brown skin and the black braid that have been undermined by colonialism, wielding ancestral knowledges as a way of offering, of healing, and of sharing. I wish to celebrate the differences in media and interdisciplinarity to “disrupt” the white cube rhetoric through decoration while evoking a sense of feeling “at home” to honour the mother, the motherland, the mother tongue and rituals lost to the onslaught of overwhelming eurocentrism and patriarchal colonialism. 

This work that I do is for other brown bodies like mine who may have felt lost in their journeys of crossing borders. Weaving and sharing stories that acknowledge our wholeness and our traumas may lead us in a direction where we might someday feel less sick and more whole in our sometimes exhaustive, stories of home-loss.

Key words: diasporic melancholia, hybridity, archive, mother, decolonial, home

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