Mon Pays

Indu Varma- Inseparable Bond - acrylic painting

Mon Pays

 Exhibition of Ceramic Installation & Paintings

By Indu Varma


Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre
7 Lorne Street
Sackville, NB
E4L 3Z6
(506) 536-1211

June 19-29, 2017

Opening Reception on June 20th 5:00 – 7:00 pm


What has immigrating to Canada meant to me? The recent wave of Syrian refugees has reminded me of my own story when I came to Canada as an immigrant in 1969 at the age of 20 after getting married to a young man who was teaching at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. I immigrated to Canada leaving behind all that was familiar and dear to me, such as, my family, my friends, my favourite places, the colourful clothes, the familiar foods, the language, the music and the art that I grew up with. Here I was, not knowing a soul, not even knowing my husband too well. It was but natural to feel nostalgic, lonely, lost and out of place. And then began the journey of struggle, hard work and survival driven by the need to earn money to visit India regularly, to ensure that my children got to know their grand parents and extended family and more importantly to give my children a good education.

“Mon pays” refers to both countries, my motherland India, where I was born and my chosen country Canada that nurtured me throughout my adult years. I have a very strong bond with both and my identity is influenced by both cultures. This exhibition of paintings and a ceramic wall installation portrays the experiences, emotions and struggles of living between two cultures that are not uniquely mine. The exhibition will run from June 19-29th at Struts Gallery in Sackville. The opening is on June 20th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Why art?

L’apogée - ceramic busts

This Art & Literacy blog explores some interesting ways to connect art with literacy.

The importance of art is frequently underestimated in a school curriculum. It is seen as a frill & for that reason the funding for art is generally speaking quite dismal.

Art actually focuses on the higher order thinking skill of critical thinking and problem solving. It takes you beyond the basic idea of reading and understanding the meaning, to the more complex skills of reflecting, analyzing, evaluating & problem solving. It actually takes you beyond the basic understanding to critically thinking about how to represent an idea visually. This is easier said than done. Try communicating a message visually about any given topic. Take for example, struggles of life and all the challenges one faces in accomplishing a goal. How would you present that visually? So, I took on this universal theme because I wanted to express the idea that success doesn’t come about without struggle. Goals don’t get accomplished without hardship and sweat. Therein lay the challenge of expressing this whole idea visually through my ceramic sculptures. I had to think hard about how I would express this idea of a journey fraught with challenges, struggle, happy moments & frustrating times. L’Apogee is an ensemble of 52 heads, each expressing different emotions along the journey of accomplishing one’s objective. There are times when you are frustrated and ready to throw in the towel, there are times when you need to analyze and reflect on the path you are taking and there are times when you are elated because everything is falling in place. These heads are a reminder that life presents us with challenges, but these can be overcome with perseverance & fortitude. In the end, we are only limited by our imagination.