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 acquired her Master's (MFA) in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCAD University (2022). Her works have been shown at Nuit Blanche, Mayten’s Gallery (Toronto), Project Casa (Montreal), The Public Gallery (Toronto), Neilson Creative Centre (Etobicoke), Riverdale Art Gallery (Toronto), Propeller Art Gallery (Toronto), Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto), Xpace Cultural Centre (Toronto)  and The Kochi Biennale (India). Par is the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-22), The Career Launcher Prize (2022), Propeller Gallery’s Emerging Artist Award (2020) and numerous grants from Ontario Arts Council. Par’s work celebrates the often invisible, misrepresented, and stereotyped voices and stories of Indian women.


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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 more whole in our sometimes exhaustive, stories of home-loss.

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

Thanks to Ontario Arts Council for generously supporting my practice

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