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Aruni Dharmakirthi


Mythical figures, symbols, and abstract shapes inhabit Aruni Dharmakirthi’s colorful textile collages. The two works on view here are from the Brooklyn-based artist’s forthcoming solo exhibition, No Flowers in Eden at Nationale. The Southeast Portland gallery is currently relocating and will reopen later this fall. 

As a Sri Lankan born artist who has called the US home for many years, Dharmakirthi creates new narratives for the female archetypes of ancient South Asian and Western mythologies. The Yakshini of South Asian myths and Eve of Western stories, are often revered yet demonized, and ultimately cast out for eschewing norms. Dharmakirthi reimagines their existence after expulsion as a rich and textured afterlife. Her sewn textile collages, which also incorporate quilting and digital collage, connect the ancient with the contemporary through a unique reframing of familiar symbols and archetypes.

Aruni Dharmakirthi is a Sri Lankan born textile and digital artist based in Brooklyn, NY, whose work has been shown nationally and internationally in galleries including Housing in Brooklyn, NY, and Disjecta in Portland, OR. Dharmakirthi received an MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2017, has participated as an artist in residence at the Bric Workspace Residency (NY), Centrum Emerging Artist In Residence (WA), and Caldera PNCA MFA Residency (OR), and recently received an Equity Award by the American Craft Council to attend the Present: Tense 2019 conference in Philadelphia.