Jagdeep Raina, Artist – Guelph

Jagdeep Raina received his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016. He has participated in artist residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Camden Arts Centre/Slade School of Fine Art. His work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the United States and Canada as well as the 11th Shanghai Biennale. His solo exhibition Chase is on display at the Art Gallery of Guelph until August 18.

  1. Textiles

I am interested in sharpening my skills in embroidery, weaving, and natural dyeing. I’m particularly interested in learning how to created Phulkari embroidery and weave Kashmiri shawls – two forms of textile that haul from my  collective family history. Both have suffered devastating consequences over the centuries through globalization, imperialism, and colonialism.

  1. Costume design

I am interested in building my skills in drawing and textiles to explore costume design. Whether it’s reading a piece of theatre or a film, there’s something incredibly inspiring about imagining the historical or contemporary setting of a character and building their external self through costume. I finished up an eight month internship at the Guelph Little Theatre where I designed costumes for my first play The Man Who Shot Chance Delaney.

  1. Environmental activism

I’m spending the summer living on a farm in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where I am provided room, board, and a studio for six weeks and, in return I  work as a farmer fifteen hours a week. From learning how to create compost to harvesting and planting, this residency has given me the opportunity to understand the labor of agricultural practices and how to start thinking about deepening my connection to the land. This labour will also allow me to explore the topic of the Green Revolution and farmer suicides in Punjab, as well as the history of the Punjabi farm workers union in British Columbia and their fight against racism and economic exploitation.

  1. Archives/oral history

I want to continue to explore archives and the role they play in constructing historical memory – particularly what gets written out of history and lost.

  1. Writing

In the next few years I’m hoping to start the process of writing a children’s book. My major in English at the University of Western Ontario has continued to impact me as an artist and the desire to write children’s literature has stayed with me.