Skills and Career Development
Tell us about your (or your group’s) overall artistic work, history and achievements. What is important to you in your work (cultural influences, your identity, geography, community, language, etc.) and why? If you identify with one or more of OAC’s priority groups, or if your ad hoc group/collective or organization is mandated to serve one or more of OAC’s priority groups, you may choose to refer to this here. (Maximum 300 words)
I am an Eelam Tamil Toronto based artist and OCAD U graduate. As a child of immigrant parents, who moved to Canada due to the ongoing genocide and segregation in Sri Lanka - my works often share many themes that connect to my bicultural identity as an Eelam Tamil womxn. My works specifically center around identity, community futures and self-actualization.
In 2017 I developed an illustration series under the alias Not Sari, which has since connected my artwork with both the Tamil and South Asian diaspora community at large. This body of work has been largely successful due to the way in which it provides the individual viewer with a framework to better understand their own identity - reflecting on various foundational beliefs, dismantling harmful cultural norms and advocating for both diaspora communities and those back home in Eelam.
My work has been featured on platforms such as the BBC, Refinery29 and Times of India. And I have been a part of exhibitions such asL Format Gallery, Do You See What I See (curated by Nimisha Bhanot), Offsite Gallery and GradEx at OCAD U.
Alongside my artistic practice, myself and my creative colleagues recently developed and received grant funding to launch an initiative called “Parvai” (Vision in english). This program aims to mentor and create opportunities within the art space for underserved young South Asian girls (ages 14 - 18). Specifically for those living in underserved communities within the GTA. Our initiative is the first of its kind, and will be a stepping stone in uplifting young South Asian girls to have agency in exploring what a career in the arts can look like, as this is often an inaccessible path for many South Asian folks due to lack of financial access, resources and cultural stigma. As I continue to progress as an artist I aim to continue to use my skills to create meaningful impact within the community through my involvement in programs like Parvai.
I aim to utilize my work as a catalyst for change in my community through exploring futurisms within the diaspora, creating spaces for South Asian folks to enter the arts, and connecting with Tamil womxn through shared experiences and advocacy.
* What are you planning to do, and what do you want to achieve with this project? (Maximum 425 words)
Through the Skills and Development project I aim to create customized educational experience for myself - with the curriculum focusing on garnering skills in both 3D modelling and Cinematography through working with industry professionals.
As an illustrator and animator I want to transform my current 2D works into dimensional narratives that can tell a full story. Growing up film and cartoons truly shaped my understanding of the world like many, and I want to fuse these two worlds through both cinematography and 3D modelling. My goal is to utilize these skills to develop immersive narratives through my art work.
Using these skills I aim to create a short art film which depicts the diaspora experience of Tamilk folks - a narrative not understood by many, exploring both the resilience and power along with the intergenerational traumas that impact our generation as a result of our parents living in war.
illustrations + digital artworks: