Rajni Perera is an emerging artist from Sri Lanka and currently lives in Toronto. Perera explores issues of her Sri Lankan ancestry, immigration identity/cultures, monsters and dream worlds. In her work, she seeks to open and reveal the dynamism of the icons and objects she creates, both scripturally existent, self-invented and externally defined. The Art Gallery of Ontario acquired Perera’s Fresh Air (2019). She is the recipient of the 2022 MOCA Toronto Award and of numerous Canada Arts Council grants.
In Ancestor 1 and Ancestor 2, Rajni Perera creates otherworldly figures using vibrant colours, shimmering gold backdrops and intricate patterns to evoke a sense of regal tranquility. These figures stem from her Travellers series where the artist produced portraits of figures that are both ancestral and futuristic. Their clothes serve as armor against the undefined backgrounds – we don’t know what is behind them or what they face. Similarly, we do not know all the stories or reasons behind past and present migration.