Lallitha Jawahirilal

Lallitha Jawahirilal (b. 1955, Ladysmith) is a South African visual artist, who enrolled at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London in 1984 and graduated with a BA Degree in in 1987. She continued to study at the Royal College of Art London where she graduated with an MA degree in 1989. She collaborated with South African exile writers, musicians, sculptors, painters and photographers in the UK and engaged in fundraising efforts for to support the anti-apartheid movement, and participated in group exhibitions, including the ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ exhibition in the Upper Street Gallery. She held solo exhibitions at the Africa Centre in Stockholm, Gallery 21 in Johannesburg and the Galerie Trapez in Berlin. In 1990, she was awarded a residency by the Delfina Studios Trust in London and won the Discerning Eye Award in 1991, and the Pollack Krasner Award in 1992.

Her work deals with space as a deeply embedded construct in one’s psyche during exile. Jawahirilal fled apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and went into self-imposed exile in London where she then took up her art studies, continuously engaged her contradictory feelings to her home country (and especially her home town of Ladysmith) which wavers between deep loving emotion, on-going conflict and in some senses, a feeling of spiritual entanglement with her place of birth. Using her own poetry, mixed media (painting and collage), Jawahirilal’s Oh South Africa(1980, 2011) series reflects her longing for her home during her time away in London, but also since 2004 when she took up permanent residence in India. 

Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London (1987); Master Degree in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (1989); Fine Art Lecturer at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa (1994-2000)

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2002 Greatmore Studios, Cape Town
2001 Monash University Faculty Gallery, Australia 
1999 Curwen Gallery, London
1996 New Academy Gallery, London
1994 New Academy Gallery, London
1991 Galerie Trapez, Berlin
1990 Gallery 21, Johannesburg
1990 198 Gallery, London
1985 Africa Centre, Stockholm 

Selected Group Exhibitions 

2007 ‘Confluence’, Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad
2007 16th Anniversary Art Salon, Bangalore
2006 ‘Art Camp’, Renaissance Art Centre, Mumbai
2005 River Arts & Music Festival, Ladysmith, South Africa
2004 ‘Decade Of Democracy’, South African National Gallery, Cape Town 
2003 ‘Journeys’, Ernest G. Welsh School of Art and Design, Atlanta
2001 ‘Jabulisa, The Art of KwaZulu Natal’, Durban Art Gallery, South Africa
2000 African Art Centre, Durban, South Africa
1999 Nico Malan Theatre, Cape Town
1998 ‘Kunst aus Südafrika’, Gallerie Seippel, Stuttgart, Germany 
1998 Newcastle Museum, United Kingdom
1997 Trienalle, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
1996 ‘Conjures’, First Gallery, Johannesburg
1991 ‘Discerning Eye’,The Mall Galleries, London
1991 Barcelona International Biennale, Spain
1990 Contemporary Art Society, Art Market, Smith Gallery, London 
1990 ‘Broadgate’, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 
1989 ‘Art London/89’, London
1987-8 Third International Bienniale Print Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan 

Selected Awards 

1994 Elizabeth Foundation Award, United States of America 1992 Pollock Krasner Award, United States of America 
1991 Discerning Eye Award, Mall Galleries, London
1989-90 African Education Trust Award, London