Is that a storm outside or a magical, raging world?
Mixed Media
30 x 20 cm

Lakshmi Nagaraj

Lakshmi Nagaraj’s artwork, “Is that a storm outside or a magical, raging world?” employs a vibrant tapestry of scraps of paper, acrylic paint, and marker pen to question the essence of existence and memory. Her work delves into the philosophical inquiry of perception and reality, exploring how unrecognized or undocumented entities persist through time. The use of unconventional materials in her mixed media artwork symbolizes the overlooked narratives and legacies of marginalized communities, asserting their place within the broader historical context. Nagaraj’s creative process is a blend of experimentation and whimsy, challenging the boundaries of traditional and avant-garde art.

If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? That’s a philosophical question you have probably heard before. Taking this thought experiment one step further makes me wonder: Did the tree even fall? Does it even exist if no one has ever been there to witness it? Can something exist without being perceived by consciousness? What happens to things and people that are never captured or documented? Do they get lost and forgotten in history? How does their legacy live on?

In my artistic practice, the inconsequential meets the unprecedented. I take the focus away from the mainstream, the overrepresented. I capture things that are left unnoticed, or worse, are considered too insignificant to be captured.

Experimentation is what drives my creative process. I question what ‘art’ means beyond its traditional sense. Can sentimental scraps of paper be a part of my art? What about old notebooks filled with childhood ramblings? A t-shirt embroidered by my mother that doesn’t fit me anymore? Could the bringing together of such unconventional articles still fall under the realm of mixed media? What lies even beyond avant-garde?

When brush meets canvas to answer these questions, the product is experimental in both technique and content, and often a pinch whimsical.

Moreover, these relics from the past represent the memories attached to them. When minorities are ignored by history books and museums, their stories survive solely through personal and collective memory. By capturing these stories and incorporating physical manifestations of memories into my art, I hope to etch them into history. These lost narratives will live on for years to come by, seamlessly merging into the lives of people who consume my art. They will be passed on – from collective memory to collective memory.

Lakshmi Nagaraj

Lakshmi Nagaraj’s participation in the Salon de Refusées is particularly poignant, as the exhibition itself celebrates works that have been disregarded by mainstream art institutions, paralleling the themes of invisibility and significance that Nagaraj’s work embodies.


The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.