Cheryl Sim on the work of Rajni Perera
Rajni Perera is an artist of Sri Lankan heritage who explores space-faring and off-worlding in these works which depict people of the diaspora as explorers and heroes who must escape Earth due to a natural disaster. These works draw on her keen interest in science fiction, textiles, and research into portraits of South Asian royalty. In Ancestor 1 and Ancestor 2 she presents us with hybrid, evolved beings in heroic poses who transcend the notion of linear time. Also remarkable is the flatness of her painting, which also coincides with her interest in graphic novels. The mask work pre-dates the pandemic, and these sculptural works are extensions of her painting practice, incorporating ornamental details into her hybrid aesthetic.
About Rajni Perera
Rajni Perera was born in Sri Lanka in 1985 and was raised between Colombo and Sydney, and then North York and Scarborough in the Greater Toronto Area. She graduated from OCADU’s BFA program in 2011 with the medal in Drawing and Painting. Along with recent solo shows (m)Otherworld Creates and Destroys Itself (2018) followed by Traveller (2019), both at Patel Gallery, Toronto, Perera has shown nationally in the inaugural exhibition of the MoCA Toronto, Believe, curated by David Liss; Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, in the exhibition Made of Honey, Gold & Marigold, curated by Genevieve Wallen; Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, in Banners For New Empires, curated by Tak Pham; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, in the award-winning exhibition Migrating The Margins, curated by Emelie Chhangur and Philip Monk; Gallery 44, Toronto. Internationally, she has exhibited in Tokyo, Rio, Colombo, Dubai, Amsterdam, New York, and Houston. She is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Humber College, and Schulich School of Business, as well as numerous private collections. She is most recently the recipient of the York Wilson Memorial Award by the Ontario Arts Council.
Interview with Rajni Perera - PHI Foundation