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Kirandeep is a visual and textile artist with extensive international experience in several parts of the world, currently based in Canberra. She creates wearable art in silk that is free-flowing, colourful and light. The colours and designs she uses are inspired by the Australian flora and fauna and her travels around the world. The silk painting is all freehand. The silk is also dyed by combining various dyeing techniques (Shibori, indigo dyeing from Africa and Indian dyeing techniques). Kiran uses ecologically friendly techniques to minimise the wastage of water and dyes. Some of the silk designs incorporate needlework and freehand machine embroidery to make the thread a part of the design. Various printing techniques are also introduced for wall hangings.
My travels have been instrumental in shaping my artistic expression. They have instilled in me a sense of humility, which is reflected in my works of art - each one a devotion to joy and happiness.
Born in India, I had the privilege of travelling extensively throughout the country during my childhood, exploring different cultures and learning about the beauty of diversity. My experience of the richness, diversity, and vitality of the languages and cultures of India, with its freedom of expression and vibrant colours, became the foundation for my later work. My study of ancient history prepared me for civilization's further exploration and seeking of knowledge from art and designs in different parts of the world, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of the world around me.
My extensive travels abroad have opened my eyes to a world of new perspectives. I have had the privilege of learning from a variety of artists and artisans in different countries. In 1989, I was mentored by Br Ambrose, a Franciscan Friar and artist in Galway, Ireland. Later, I pursued my passion for art by studying at Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) in Wales. I also had the opportunity to engage with the local Cardiff Bay community through my work with organizations such as Barnardos, Making Waves (Community Newsletter at NewEmploy Wales), Cardiff County Council, and Cardiff City Council. Additionally, I was an active member of Cardiff and District Multicultural Arts Development, Women's Arts Association, and Craft Council UK.
I create vibrant, free-flowing works of art on canvas, paper, and silk, as well as wearable art. My artwork is inspired by the Australian flora and fauna, as well as my own experiences. In 2020, I founded the Migrant Women's Art Group in Gungahlin, Canberra, with the support of GungahlinArts. This group provides a platform for cultural exchange, allowing members to celebrate their identities, connect with one another, and create meaningful connections with the larger community. Through this program, members have been connected with First Nations Elders and local organisations such as the Multicultural Hub.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in Canberra, I initiated two projects: Neighbourhood Art on Wheelie Bins and Art@Home. These projects aimed to inspire children and adults to be creative by providing art lessons on YouTube while they were confined to their homes.
In 2021, I was given the opportunity to be part of CREATE CURIOUS, a project in collaboration with Canberra artists, ABC Canberra, and local art organisations. This project encouraged my local community to have a creative corner in their homes.
Finally, I founded Creative @ Slow Stitch, a haven for embroidery enthusiasts. This group seeks to revive our old storytelling tradition through embroidery.
In 2022, I was honoured to have the opportunity to work on various projects around Canberra with Geoff Filmer and his team. I was invited to join Geoff at the National Gallery of Australia for a live painting during 2022 Australian of the Year luncheon, which was an incredibly rewarding experience. Additionally, I was part of his team at the Floriade and Design Canberra Festival.
The following summer, I had the pleasure of running art workshops for children and their parents who had recently arrived in Australia from different parts of the world. These workshops were supported by Vinnies, the Red Cross, Multicultural Hub, and ACT Library.
As an art educator, I facilitate art classes and workshops for participants of all ages and abilities, introducing them to the wonders of art on paper, canvas, and silk, depending on their abilities. My art classes start with creating an awareness of one's surroundings to ensure creativity is fostered in every participant. Since 2012, I have worked in school classrooms and used art as a form of therapy during workshops for children with special needs.
I was also a Facilitator for Artist By The River Project 7 and 8 (2015 & 2017) in Perth, for which I was recognised by the Rotary Club of Swan Valley, Western Australia for my dedication to the project.
I welcome commissions, collaborations and art workshops.
My art and design work is inspired by the ethos of ancient Indian art as expressed in Chitra Sutra. According to this Sutra, art is about meditation and harmonising our inner soul with the outer world and the cosmos. My paintings are less about what I see, and more about what I feel - my feelings about life, in its purity and vitality, in its colour, depth, and revitalising energy.
- Kirandeep Grewal
KiranDesigns acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.