Project Description

CATHERINE PARKER AND KAMAL SWAMI

15 June — 29 June 2013

Catherine Parker & Kamal Swami – ‘Two Worlds’

In 2005, Parker participated as an Artist in Residence in New Delhi, and so began a lifelong passion for India, its culture, people and the traditional and contemporary Arts. Catherine has returned each year since, and in 2008 met Kamal Swami who is based in Jaisalmere, Rajasthan. Swami paints in the miniature painting style that have been informed by Mughal and Persian historical styles together with local Mewar (Rajasthan) traditions resulting in a unique body of work.

Miniature Paintings are known and respected for their attention to detail. These traditional requirements necessitated an enormous leap for Swami to participate. The collaborations required a number of discussions before anything concrete ensued, but one thing the two had instantly in common was their love of the narrative. Both artists continue to work outside their comfort zone and although from vastly different backgrounds connect on a deep level of mutual respect and philosophy. Swami has a degree in the ancient language of Sanskrit and Parker a degree in Fine Arts, so the two allow a certain dialogue that creates dimensional shifts incorporating Parker’s contemporary influence with Swami’s traditional background. Their work was included in the 2011 Blake Prize at the National Art School Gallery, Sydney and in Drawn to India, an exhibition curated by Parker and held at The University of Southern Qld, 2011 and most recently in 2013 titled: Drawn to India – a Message from Jaisalmere and Beyond.

In 2012 Parker and Swami were invited by RMIT University’s Story Hall Gallery Curator, Suzanne Davies to participate in the significant celebration of the project and exhibition: Kindness / Udarta Australia India Cultural Exchange marking 20 years of cultural initiatives by the Australia-India Council. Hosted firstly in New Delhi, India at the prestigious Habitat Centre Gallery, it then travelled to Canberra to the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs and then to RMIT Storey Hall Gallery in Melbourne.