Through art we can change the world

Discover how Ireland, Cardiff, Australia and India have all influenced Kiran’s work, and why the opportunity to support Pegasus ACT inspired her to participate in TAE18.

A photograph of Kiran Grewal

Kiran Grewal has been working as a full-time artist for the past 25 years. Kiran has been based in Australia for the past 20 years but completed an Art and Design qualification on the other side of the world in Wales (UK). Kiran currently lives in the capital city of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) but has travelled throughout the country, being continually inspired by its unique flora and fauna.

Kiran runs her own art business under a KiranDesigns® banner and facilitates silk painting workshops and art classes for adults and children.

Kiran took part in the TAE for the first time in 2018 after hearing about the exhibition in the ArtsACT newsletter. Having taught young children and adults with disabilities Kiran wanted to participate in TAE18 to support Pegasus ACT.  Kiran is already looking forward to creating a postcard for TAE19 taking place in Edinburgh (UK), and would highly recommend others get involved too!

How have the different countries you have visited influenced your art work?
Travel plays a vital role in inspiring me, along with the changing seasons. As I love to sketch and paint on location, my three children tagged along to paint alongside me and my group of artist friends as they were growing up.

In terms of art training:
• I was mentored by Br Ambrose, Franciscan Friar in Galway, Ireland in 1989
• I later moved to Cardiff, Wales, where I completed a Diploma in Art and Design from the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education.

More generally:
• My time in Cardiff gave me lots of opportunities to explore the art world and exhibit my own work
• I’m fascinated by the Ancient Art of India and its philosophy of being an artist, am a regular visitor to the National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum
• I’m inspired by artists such as Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Monet and Sobha Singh.

Have you had many opportunities to exhibit your art work?
I was fortunate to meet up with some artists in Cardiff through the Cardiff and District Multicultural Arts Development (CADMAD) group. I participated in many group, solo and community exhibitions that were covered by:
• BBC and local S4C TV channels
• Newsletters (Permanent Waves and Women’s Arts Association)
• St David’s Hall – the way to the stars
• Local newspapers.

I’ve also exhibited in Tasmania (Hobart and Launceston), Western Australia (Esperance, Perth), and my work was part of a National touring exhibition in 2000.

Can you tell us a bit more your art work and the materials you use?
My work is based upon my travels around the world and on the vivid landscape of Australia. Each piece of art work represents human life and a hidden element of design. Through the vivid colours I use in my work I hope to communicate that although life can be trying we should remember it is about positivity and unity. Since having moved to Australia my work echoes colours and form of the flora and fauna of this picturesque country.

I use various materials on canvas, paper and silk, and like to push boundaries with the varied materials used. I work in oils, acrylics, mixed media, fabric dyes and free hand embroidery.

Silent Friends
TAE18 postcard
Kiran Grewal
Colour pencils on paper
16cm x 12cm
2018

What is your involvement with teaching art to children with disabilities?
I’m an art educator for children with disabilities. This experience led to me getting involved in “Artist by the River Project 7 & 8” in Perth, Western Australia. This community project involved facilitating art classes for adults with varying degrees of disabilities. Getting to know how art and colour benefits these individuals changed my perceptions of art and creativity.

I’m also recognised for my work with a project by the Rotary Club of Swan Valley, Perth. I strongly believe that art goes beyond therapy as there are no rules of it being right or wrong. It is simply liberating for the soul.

What did you enjoy most about taking part in your first TAE?
Being able to contribute my art work to support the Pegasus ACT charity. Their purpose is close to my heart because they provide positive experiences to children with disabilities as I’m also able to through my art educator role. The way TAE is run effectively is simply fantastic. There was such a wonderful buzz created by the TAE18 artwork, and through Twitter I’ve had new opportunities to network with local ACT and global artists.

Where can people discover more about you and your art work?
People can discover the latest news about my art work through my:
Kiran Design Studio Facebook Page
@njtar Twitter profile
@kirandesignstudio Instagram profile