Inward Identities: Recent Works by Vicky Talwar

Release, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas, 2021. Latcham Art Centre. Image courtesy of Dennis Hristovski.

Inward Identities: Recent Works by Vicky Talwar

Latcham Art Centre, Stouffville
February 1 – March 19, 2022
Reception: Friday, March 18, 7-9pm
To attend the reception, please register at

Curated by Carolyn Hickey.

Vicky Talwar is an interdisciplinary Whitchurch-Stouffville artist who draws upon her personal experience as a Hindu-Canadian to produce painting, mixed media and installation artwork. Latcham Art Centre is pleased to host Vicky Talwar’s recent work which also serves as her Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media & Design thesis exhibition with the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U).

In her paintings, she expresses the contrasts of her identity by embracing both vibrant colour and textured materiality. Talwar uses reoccurring spiritual motifs including intertwining flower garlands, mala beads, sacred threads and salt to create a sense of presence and intention while playful brushstrokes and an atmospheric background produces a feeling of liminality and transcendency. Her salt-based installations explore similar themes. Inspired by ritualistic qualities of the mandala, she uses salt as a purifying and healing material to accentuate her spirituality. Acting as a self-portrait of her enlightening individuality, Inward Identities showcases Vicky Talwar’s relationship with art throughout her life and encourages our community to engage with their own cultural experiences through the visual arts. There are three central themes in Inward Identities: Colour, Salt and Healing. Together, these themes contribute to Talwar’s artistic vision of exploring her own intermediary identity.

The choice of pigment in Talwar’s paintings is the foundational element that the remainder of the artwork is built upon. Talwar utilizes a range of bright and vivid colours that represent her emotional energy and meditative process in the creation of the work.

Interconnectedness, chiffon, pink Himalayan salt, 2021. Latcham Art Centre. Images courtesy of Dennis Hristovski.

Talwar was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. At the age of thirteen, her family moved to New Delhi, India and by the age of nineteen, they moved back to Toronto. Talwar recalls this as a formative, confusing and traumatic experience: “With each relocation, I left an important part of myself behind. The cultural disruption I experienced left me feeling confused about my identity.” Inspired by memories of her interconnected identity as a Hindu-Canadian, Talwar explores how colour can engage memory and heal.

The inclusion of diptychs and triptychs in this series, only enhance the value of colour to compare, contrast, and ultimately balance the palette used throughout the exhibition. This is especially evident in works such as Release, which captures a call and response effect. Talwar explains: “I juxtapose one style of painting with another, further suggesting a cultural disruption and I examine how colours change when placed together.”

Salt is used and represented in each artwork featured in Inward Identities as a purifying and grounding material. In her paintings, salt is used on the wet canvas to create texture, transforming her canvas into a topographical and indistinctly hazy state producing a feeling of floating tranquility. More noticeably, salt is used as the main element in her installation artwork.

In the installation piece Interconnectedness, the spiritual elements of salt and light fuels an affectual and physical interaction between the artwork and the viewer. The fabric moves as you navigate the space around the installation, creating an interactive push and pull effect. Talwar describes the materiality of the work: “Chiffon fabric is used in many Indian garments like the sari. The touch and feel of this sheer and light material brings back memories of my time in India. I printed my Himalayan salt rock images onto this fabric and its semi-transparency which allows me to connect with this material and the salt as well as observe how the material moves with the presence of its viewers.”

Still image from video performance of A Moment to Myself. Featuring Buddhist Monk, Lama Jam. Video Production by Moe Marino, 2022

By combining the elements of colour, the materiality of salt and the shape of the mandala, Talwar expresses her hybrid identity by creating an environment that encourages healing. The video displayed in the gallery shows Talwar completing the colourful salt and light installation A Moment to Myself. As Talwar works to complete the salt mandala, Buddhist Monk Lama Jam performs Sound Energy Therapy using Tibetan Medical Singing Bowls. Talwar uses the sound energy vibrations to produce and guide her in the creation of the mandala. Talwar describes the experience, stating: “As I work gradually outwards to form my mandala, it symbolizes the universe and continuity. The spiritual meaning of the bowls as well as the vibrational sounds help relieve pain and improve the flow of energy in areas of the body. I have learned how the sounds of the Tibetan Medical Singing Bowls transfer positive energy.”

Latcham Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario Arts Council and Tiny Seedlings for their generous support of this exhibition.

Latcham Art Centre is situated on land that is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral People. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. We also recognize the contributions Indigenous peoples have made in shaping and strengthening this community. We are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and re-affirm our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our community.

Latcham Art Centre
2 Park Drive, Stouffville, Ontario L4A 4K1
Free admission

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 5pm
Sunday: Closed