Kirtika Kain examines caste and patriarchal structures that have been enforced upon and embodied by generations before her. Born in New Delhi into the Dalit caste (formerly known as ‘Untouchables’) and raised in Sydney, her practice brings together inherited personal and collective memories, connecting an ancient Dalit presence to a contemporary expression. The materials she uses morph the traditional associations with labor, religion, and caste, into aesthetic objects which pay heed to Dalit visuality and identity. The viscerality and rawness of materials in Kirtika’s artworks invoke a timelessness; the narratives her canvases explore are manifestations of a past long gone. Her constantly evolving archive is influenced by historical female Dalit literature and reclaims spaces in which Dalits have been historically denied access in order to tell the stories of caste in the diaspora. During her residency, Kirtika will respond to the ancient Crete Senesi landscape, engaging her ongoing interest in the connection between ancestral land and cultural knowledge through experimental drawings and focused research.
Kirtika Kain studied Psychology at Macquarie University and completed both Bachelor and Masters of Fine Art from National Art School, Sydney, Australia. Recent exhibitions include Earth 200 CE, Verge Gallery, University of Sydney, 2022; The Lunar Line, Jhaveri Contemporary, London, 2022; Stone Idols, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2021; and Lustration, Firstdraft, Sydney, 2021.