Kinnari Saraiya, b. 1998 in Bombay, is an artist and curator, but primarily, she's a storyteller and worldbuilder. She works across film, interactive digital immersive environments, sculpture, installation, animation and drawing, which allows her to interweave complex concepts and narratives together. Her work blends myths and legends of her forefathers into existing colonial narratives to produce an almost fictional, futuristic world, deeply rooted in the non-fictional histories and stories. Her practice utilizes ancient and sensorial storytelling formats of dance and music that transcends visual imperiality to reveal a hybrid, anti-casteist, decolonial and feminist ecstatic truth. Through the recovery and binding of ancient and new tools, resources, and technologies, her work constructs a portal, a time capsule that helps define, find, create, escape, and return home.
Her recent work किन्नर's prakṛtiḥ, nṛtya, laya premiered at QUAD in Derby and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. My upcoming exhibitions will be at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle and FORMAT festival in Derby. She has previously exhibited at Kyiv Biennial, Frieze Art Fair, VISUAL Carlow, Russell-Cotes Gallery and Museum and many more. It was a Roadside Picnic, where she was the artistic lead and curator won an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica under Computer Animation. Helen Starr’s pioneering essay on her practice will be published in Archivo Papers and presented at their Symposium in July 2023.
Earlier in 2021, she was recognised to be of exceptional promise by the Arts Council England.
She co-curated a worldbuilding project built on New Art City called It was a Roadside Picnic with Helen Starr, an Afro-Carib curator and activist. Set in the desert of Sahel and centered around a breathing app that is synced to breathing exercises towards a calm mental state, it is an urgent statement that art has the potential to heal. She currently works at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, where she has recently curated Sahej Rahal's Mythmachine, Time Travel Across Many-Worlds which was a group show and will be curating Michael Rakowitz's Hanging Gardens of We Are Here Because You Were There opening in July 2023 and Cosmovisions on Land and Entangled Futures which is a group show, opening November 2023. She won the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Curatorial Fellowship at Baltic in 2021 and has continued her curatorial journey with Baltic as Assistant Curator since.
2017 - 2020
Arts University Bournemouth, BA (Hons) Fine Art. First Class Distinction
2016 - 2017
City College of San Francisco, BA Fine Art. Dean’s List Distinction
2014 - 2016
L.S Raheja School of Art, Fine Art Diploma
awards and residencies
Boundary Crosser Residency, CYENS Centre for Excellence, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Hotel Generation, a yearly development programme for selected young digital artists, run by Arebyte in partnership with FACT, QUAD and NEoN.
Honorary Mention, Computer Animation, Prix Ars Electronica - It was a Roadside Picnic / Beyond Black Orientalism
Weekender Residency with Array Collective, UK New Artists and Centre for Contemporary Art, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Game Jam Residency supporting Danielle Braithwaite-Shirley's Haunting Alongside Our Shadows, QUAD and Arebyte, Derby and London
The Light of Day Prize, Artquest, London
Adapt, Change & Cope, Virtual Residency, Wendy Network & MACHFELD Foundation, Vienna, Austria.
North Louisiana Virtual Residency 2021, Louisiana, United States.
Emerging Artist Residency, Orbit Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom
PRAXIS Residency, Axis and Social Art Library, United Kingdom.
SPUR: Virtual 6 months residency; CORE artist, Chaos Magic Space. (Mentioned in Serpentine’s Future of Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse issue)
Curators of Colour Sponsorship Award, Ziegler Collection.
Shortlisted for New Emergence Art: Unity Award.
Winner of the Dean’s Prize for innovative use of materials, Arts University Bournemouth.
Winner of AIS Open Runners Up Award, An Indian Summer Festival.
Residency and Fellowship, British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, British Council.
The Great Indian Scholarship supported by the British Council for excellence in Arts, United Kingdom.
selected group exhibitions
Bioscope, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Bioscope and It was a Roadside Picnic (Beyond Black Orientalism), East Meets West, FORMAT Festival, Derby
Bioscope, Frieze Art Fair, London - programmed by Frieze
Time Travel across Many-Worlds, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead - curated by Kinnari Saraiya
Nature Godded Worlds, QUAD, Derby - curated by Jodi Kwok, Helen Starr and Kinnari Saraiya
Speech Sounds, VISUAL, Carlow - curated by Iarlaith Ni Fheorais
Allied, Kyiv Biennial, Ukraine.
Victoria Terminus, Vane Gallery, TSDAP on Artsy, online.
I Matter, Babylon Gallery, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Touring to St. Albans Museum and Art Gallery (St. Albans), Wells Maltings (Norfolk), Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery (Peterborough)
SPUR WORLD, Online Touring Exhibition, United Kingdom.
Touring to Eastside Projects (Birmingham), Palfrey (London), Arebyte (London), Chaos Magic (Nottingham), QUAD (Derby), D Unit (Bristol – Physical Exhibition), New Art City (Online)
Hochkant Film Festival, Bremen, Germany.
36th Annual Open Exhibition Online, Southwark Park Galleries, London.
Model Village, Swiss Church Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom.
Interesting Times in Venice, London Metropolitan University Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
Commissioned by the British Council, response to the research fellowship undertaken at the Venice Biennale 2019.
Heat, Vacant Museum, United Kingdom.
Drawing the Soul Towards Truth: Hindu & Muslim Sacred Geometry, Doug Adams Gallery, California, United States.
Now That We Are Free?, AIS Open 2020, United Kingdom.
Graduate Show, Arts University Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Online due to COVID-19)
The Mank, Abandoned House in Sandbanks, United Kingdom.
Enshrine, Fringe Arts Festival, Bath, United Kingdom
Arte’ Factum, Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Broken Skin, BUMF Gallery, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
to the privileged, British Pavilion basement, Venice Biennale.
Shadows of the Archive, Arts University Bournemouth, United Kingdom
42nd Annual Fort Mason Holiday Exhibition, Fort Mason Centre for Arts & Culture, San Francisco, United States
Marching Home, Art Seed Organisation, San Francisco, United States
Kala Yatri Annual Exhibition, L. S Raheja School of Art, Mumbai, India
Kala Yatri Annual Exhibition, L. S Raheja School of Art, Mumbai, India
Michael Rakowitz, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Imperial War Museum 14-18 Now - new commission + solo show
Stepping Softly on the Earth, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead - group show
Time Travel across Many-Worlds, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead - group show
Mythmachine, Sahej Rahal, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead - solo show + new commission
It was a Roadside Picnic/Beyond Black Orientalism - the world as a futuristic reimagination that springs from and moves in breath, VR work