Kavitha Balakrishnan is an Indian artist, poet, and art educator based at Thrissur, Kerala. She has an MFA in Art History from M S University of Baroda.
Kavitha finds her artistic language at the generic crossroads of the disciplines of Art, Art History and Poetry.
Her art practice is richly supported by her long period of researches into the global art histories of the vernacular, particularly the colonial and post colonial histories of print-media industry in India (to access her Phd thesis, please click : http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/22496) She has generated extensive archival materials on twentieth century illustrated print-pictures in Malayalam periodicals.
Evolved as a creative person searching for ways to engage with multiple disciplines over the years, personal is also collaborative, for her. Winner of Societ Land Nehru Award for Painting (1989) at the age of 13, she participated in an International Young Pioneer Camp for children at the Black Sea coast of Crimea in former USSR which was quite an influential exposure in her early life. Since then she chose to be self-taught in art and officially went onto study Art History.
A project that started in 2014 with the British artist Charlie Holt, called Poetry & Collage at Merzbarn, UK was a turning point. It simultaneously developed a rural location for contemporary art at Mathilakam village in Kerala as Kavitha’s self-initiated co-project at second Chilappathikaram Festival run by the second edition of Kochi-Muziriz Biennial. Poetry & Collage contributed to revamping the Dadaist practices at Merzbarn UK, both proposing an international fringe dynamics of rural contexts in contemporary art. Currently Kavitha develops on this collaboration also alongwith a textile designer Hilary Dehn, all three forming a collective called Jigsaw Artists Collective. Please click here: http://jigsawartists.jimdo.com/
As a bilingual writer on art Kavitha engages with the changing scenario of practicing, writing and educating art and art-history since 2000 by contributing critical reviews in both Malayalam and English. She has two books on art to her credit, both articulating Kerala in the context of Modern and contemporary practices, published in 2007. An edited Malayalam volume on M F Hussain translated seminal academic writings in English on Modern Indian art history for Malayali audience (2013). Her second collection of articles on art that consistently talked about new art worlds that developed in India since 2007 from a Kerala vantage point of art and its possible 'national' and international' histories.
Latest of her publications include a third collection of Malayalam poetry 'Kavithayute Kavithakal'.
She is teaching Art History at Govt.College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, Kerala, since 2005.