Born in London, brought up in the Highlands of Scotland, Olivia Fraser has lived and worked in India since 1989. She combines the techniques, vocabulary, mineral and plant pigments and handmade paper (wasli) of traditional Indian miniatures with forms and ideas inspired by modern Western art, including the archetypal shapes, colors and rhythms in the works of Kazimir Malevich and the Suprematists as well as in the Op Art of Bridget Riley and Sol LeWitt.
Her experience as an immigrant physically entering the Indian landscape is reflected in her use of landscape as a starting point in many of her works. Fraser has an affinity with the manner in which topography is depicted in miniatures: “This is a visual language through which I feel I can communicate, and tear down the frontier of foreignness to arrive at a sense of belonging.” In I Am the Moon, she portrays the moon exploding and multiplying into thousand-petalled lotuses, symbolizing cosmic renewal.
Olivia Fraser graduated with a Master’s Degree in Modern Language from the University of Oxford and spent a year at Wimbeldon Art College before settling in India. Since then she has studied traditional Indian miniature painting techniques under Jaipuri and Delhi masters. She follows in the footsteps of her ancestor, James Baillie Fraser, who painted India, its monuments and landscape in the early 1800s.
The artist’s work is included in public and private collections in Australia, France, India, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Museum of Sacred Art, Septon, Belgium. Her works has been shown in solo exhibitions in India, China and the United Kingdom. In spring 2015, her work was included in Forms of Devotion: The Spiritual in Indian Art at Lalit Kala Galleries, Rabindra Bhavan, in New Delhi, an exhibition organized by Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Art) India and the Museum of Sacred Art, Belgium and Italy.
Born in London, 1965 | Lives and works in New Delhi
I Am the Moon, 2014, stone pigment, gold leaf and gum arabic on handmade Sanganer paper, nine panels, each 14 x 14 inches/35.6 x 35.6 cm
I Am the Moon, 2014, stone pigment, gold leaf and gum arabic on handmade Sanganer paper, one of nine panels, 14 x 14 inches/ 35.6 x 35.6 cm