Jyoti Duwadi
Himalaya to Cascadia
Transcending Boundaries
Artworks 1973-2023

Wed, Sep 27, 2023 through Sat, Dec 9, 2023

Born into a family of Nepali poets and writers, Jyoti moved to the US to study political science. After receiving a Ph.D., he began creating art in a wide array of media as well as public art installations addressing social and environmental issues.

The artistic rituals that Jyoti absorbed from his native Nepal inform the rich palette of colors and Tantric geometries in much of his work. His later exposure to sculpture by Isamu Noguchi and Constantin Brancusi together with paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee inspired him to fuse Western contemporary and traditional Nepali cultures in his art. 

Jyoti’s sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, and digital art reflect an openness to chance discoveries. He experiments with an extensive variety of natural materials, including bamboo, beeswax, and earth gathered from around the world. Simultaneously, the artist transforms ordinary, discarded objects - from the humble egg carton to industrial sanding belts - into sculptures and paintings. Texture and aroma are often incorporated into his art that can convey humor, playfulness, and a sense of delight.

Many of Jyoti’s artworks are intimately scaled for personal reflection. The imagery in paintings, drawings, and artist books express his personal calligraphy. These writings, conceived as visual poetry, evolved as an artistic expression of his family’s literary legacy. Jyoti was also inspired by molecular and galactic imagery, cave paintings, aboriginal pictographs, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The rhythm, syncopation and improvisational aspects of Jazz guide his compositions.

These works intersect with Jyoti’s gallery and public art  installations. He often creates multi-sensory, contemplative spaces using singing bowls and hand-made copper vessels from Nepal that contain elements of earth, water and fire. Jyoti recently returned from Utah and Nevada where he collected colored earth and sand for a site-specific installation in the Western Gallery.

After moving to Bellingham, Jyoti began making art that reflects his explorations of the Pacific Northwest landscape. In a studio facing the Canadian Coast mountains, compared to the Himalayas by early explorers, he has found new materials and inspiration. Jyoti’s recent paintings and sculptures integrate earth pigments gathered from the region with recycled sanding belts marked by the trees of Cascadian forests.

What unites and ultimately defines Jyoti’s art is his openness to both chance and experimentation. His empathy for the natural world and the practice of Sadhana, a meditative approach to creativity, animates the work. While Jyoti’s art traces a personal journey, it also calls attention to both nature’s beauty and the precarious relationship between humans and the environment. What guides his art is the belief in the potential of creativity to catalyze positive change.

Himalaya to Cascadia is curated by Barbara Matilsky

Learn more about the artist by visiting his website.  

Culture is addressed but not dictated; sculpture becomes a vehicle for suggestions of occult meaning, not explicit instructions or strident explanations. - read more at Sculpture Magazine

The works, taken together in the gallery, give a sense of transcendence of both time and place, and engage all the senses. Duwadi said he often incorporates incense in his work, but burning it wasn’t allowed in the gallery. Visitors can, however, lean in to smell the sweet aroma of his beeswax sculptures and, in one interactive piece, ring the singing bowls to make a pleasant sound. - read more at the Salish Current

Events and exhibitions are free and open to the public unless stated otherwise. Visitor information