Announcing ISF2024 Feature Artist: Manjot Kaur

Prepare to be captivated at this year’s Indian Summer Festival as we proudly announce Manjot Kaur as our Feature Artist. Known for her innovative approach that bridges mythological narrative and ecological awareness, Kaur’s work promises to be a highlight of ISF2024.

ISF2024 Feature Artwork: The Portrait of a Tree in Jharokha

An artistic illustration featuring a traditional architectural balcony. The balcony houses a lush green tree and pink blossoming branches that extend outward. The balcony structure morphs into the shape of a large flower below, with roots spreading out from the base. The top of the image is framed with a golden, textured border, contrasting with the beige background

Medium: gouache and watercolour on paper

This painting has been selected as the feature artwork for ISF2024 because of its fascinating exploration of the festival’s theme: PARADOX. 

It portrays a tree growing inside an upside-down jharokha. Here, the tree reigns king and its roots provide the foundation for the jharokha, a visual paradox that subverts traditional symbols of power and attributes personhood to the botanical world. 

In addition to its artistic beauty, the piece critically reflects on the paradoxical acceptance of environmental destruction in the name of human progress, and promotes a new worldview that emphasises coexistence and mutual respect between humanity and nature. Manjot’s representation does not view nature as a resource to be exploited but as a regal, commanding entity in its own right.

See Manjot’s artwork in ISF2024’s Limited Edition Print Program (coming soon).

About Manjot Kaur

Alt text: Photo of Manjot Kaur against a dark wooden background, looking straight into the camera smiling, sporting a yellow blazer with a teal shirt. She is standing against dark wooden slats.

Photo credit: Sumeet Verma

Manjot’s artistic work challenges the conventions of ecology and the representation of women’s bodies through her intricate drawings, paintings, and time-based media. Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, her artistry pushes back against traditional narratives that centre humans as protagonists, instead advocating for a worldview that eradicates the hierarchical distinctions between human and non-human beings.

As a response to ecological grief and loneliness, Manjot’s work is infused with acts of care and a call to kinship. She uses mythology and the natural world as powerful tools to “demodernize” dualist constructs of nature and culture, questioning traditional power dynamics and proposing narratives that envision a multi-species future. Her intimate, detailed paintings invite viewers to ponder the symbiosis between humankind and the environment, asking what stories we must tell to nurture and reclaim our shared future.

Read Manjot’s Full Bio


Manjot Kaur has garnered significant recognition for her visionary approach to contemporary art. She has received numerous prestigious grants and fellowships, including an affiliation with The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, and a Sustaina India Fellowship at CEEW in 2022. Her artistic residencies include positions at renowned institutions like the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands and the Unidee residency at Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto in Italy.

Manjot’s recent exhibitions span global venues, reflecting her international acclaim. Highlights include “Green Snake – Women Centered Ecologies” at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, and notable participations in the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and India Art Fair. Her awards from the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and the recognition as one of the Hindustan Times’ Top 30-under-30 young achievers in 2017 further underscore her impactful contributions to contemporary art.

In Closing

Manjot Kaur continues to provoke critical reflection and foster a deeper understanding of our interconnected existence, challenging viewers to reimagine the boundaries between the human and the non-human in our increasingly precarious ecological landscape.