Between Sky and Garden

Purnaa Deb | Printmaker in Residence

Born and raised in Kolkata, India: Johannesburg-based artist Purnaa Deb takes residence in Makhanda during the Festival.
Her printmaking work often reflects themes excavated from her dreams and core to her practice is the investigation of identity through the lens of relationship between self and society. She strives to explore the interface between social, political and personal and her works are primarily autobiographical in nature.

Genre: Printmaking

Format: Exhibition Capture and Live Demonstrations

Duration: 8 – 31 July

Demonstrations: 9 July & 16 July at 16h00




Purnaa Deb, grew up in Kolkata, India and completed her academic art education, (graduation and post-graduation degree) in Printmaking from the faculty of Visual Art, Rabindra Bharati University, India. She received a Fellowship in National Lalit Kala Academy by Government of India for the year of 2014-2015 in the Printmaking Department. She has participated in several group exhibitions and community based art activities, and has worked as an art educator, teaching different methods of arts and creative practice using interactive communicating tools.

She moved to Johannesburg in 2015, where she is now based.


In my practice, I investigate identity through the lens of relationship between self and society. I strive to explore the interface between social, political and personal. Primarily my works are autobiographical in nature. Images in my works come from my everyday life, particularly from my experience of playing multiple roles as a daughter, wife, artist and an urban middle-class, working woman. I look into all the prosaic things that we consider as significant for living, and in turn, that delineate our identity. My works are cross-pollination between these banal elements of my personal sphere and the references subtracted from larger peripheries and discourses on tradition, politics of identity, memory, nostalgia and complexities of urban life.

I fabricate edifices around banality with images, words, lines and colours enthused by events, incidents and discourses taking place in the larger context of society.

My works explore visual recollection and the imprint of memory. I find everyday experiences, relationships, and behaviors to be less than concrete and more fluid and uncertain. I indicate my assessments of certainty by using the concept of place, often a literal, physical space. Depending on the place I depict, it becomes a metaphor for comfort, tension, belonging, uneasiness, etc. The emotions that memories evoke in me, deluge my thoughts, and often transpire in my works in the form of abstract forms and images with painstakingly intricate details, lines, colours and native languages I encounter in my everyday life somewhere between Kolkata and Johannesburg.

Visit her website