Shelly Jyoti is a visual artist, fashion designer, poet and an independent curator whose work references in the cultural context of Indian history. She is trained as a fashion designer from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, and she earned her MA in English Literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

Recent shows include:Salt:The Great March-(Solo show)Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts ,New Delhi (2013-14);  Indigo: New works by Shelly Jyoti & Laura Kina–Gandhi Memorial Centre, Washington DC USA (Nov 2013-14); Chicago Cultural Centre Chicago IL, USA (2013); Diana Lowenstein Gallery Miami FL, USA (2011); ArtXchange Gallery Seattle WA, USA (2011); Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai (2010); Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre New Delhi (2009); ABS RedEarth Art Gallery Baroda (2009);.”Women Imaging Women: The study of female portraiture”–The State Street Gallery Robert Morris University Chicago, USA (2009); “Beyond Mithila: Exploring the Decorative”– Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, USA (2008); Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008); India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2008/2009); and “Lyrical Abstraction: A Room of/for Muses”–Experimental Art Gallery – India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2007); WelcomArt Gallery Baroda,Gujarat (2009).

Her Ajrakh textile works are part of the TAPI collection (Textiles & Art of the People of India) in Surat, India. Jyoti has been a juror, given talks, conducted workshops in art and fashion schools in India and abroad. Her works have been reviewed in Art India, ArtEtc., Business Standard, Financial Times, The Quilters UK, Indian Express Mumbai, India Today, The Hindustan Times, and Times of India. Her literary works are in collection with the Sahitya Akademi journal of Indian English literature.

Her recent curatorial project “Traditional Indian Textiles” is a travelling exhibition of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) for ASEAN countries. She was selected  amongst 30 eminent women painters in Delhi by the Sahitya kala Parishad in 2013.

She has been awarded support from the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA), Indian Council of cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Gujarat Lalit Kala Akademi for art and curatorial projects.Her artworks are in corporate and private collection in India and abroad. She lives and works in Gurgaon and  New Delhi, India

Select Recent Art works and Collaborations

 SALT: THE GREAT MARCH-  Project 2013

Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi

September 28- October 20, 2013

Exploring salt as a symbol of non-violence and investigating the sarvodaya theory in practice of nonviolence, tolerance, peace and harmony through the narratives of swadeshi politics. This new complementary body of work is in continuation to Jyoti’s previous INDIGO Neel Darpan series. Neel Darpan(1860) is a literary text symbolic of yet another anti-colonial, nonviolence movement that took place in 1917-18 as  champaran movement for indigo farmers in India.Shelly Jyoti’s works feature a large khadi fabric site specific installation, a sculptural installation with wires, twenty five contemporary artworks using azrakh traditions (printing and dyeing) on khadi fabric and  multi-media spoken poetry. Catalog

‘VASTRAM : The Splendid World Of Indian Textiles

Collaboration with Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR)-Curatorial project 2012

Indian textiles were a principal commodity in the trade of the pre-industrial age and were prized for their fineness in weave, brilliance in colour, rich variety in designs and a dyeing technology which achieved a fastness of colour unrivaled in the world.

As a curator of this show, I had categorized the collection of 37 traditional Indian textiles and a large site specific installation in three categories of painted printed, woven-non-woven, embroidery and embellishments . Further, investigated the  global influences on new materials, machine spun yarn for hand loom cotton and synthetic dyes for vegetable and mineral dyes. Catalog


In part supported by Indian Council for Cultural Relations(ICCR) and Gujarat Lalit kala Akademi .Exhibitions held in India and across the continent –

  • INDIGO- Gandhi Memorial Centre, Washington DC (2013) :
  • Chicago Cultural Center Chicago IL(2013):
  • Diana Lowenstein Gallery Miami FL,USA(2011):
  • ArtXchange Gallery Seattle WA,USA(2011):
  • Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai (2010)) :
  • Palm Court Gallery ,India Habitat Centre New Delhi (2009):
  • ABS RedEarth Art Gallery Baroda (2009)

“Not a chest of indigo reached England without being stained with human blood”, an Englishman in the Bengal Civil Service is said to have commented. Indigo holds a sustained presence in the post-colonial identity of India. Employing fair-trade embroidery artisans from women’s collectives in India and executing their works in indigo blue, artist Shelly Jyoti’s works draw upon India’s history, narratives of immigration and trans-national economic interchanges. Between 2009-2013 the INDIGO works in this series travelled to six venues in India and the U.S. as part of a two-woman show ‘Indigo: Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina’.

INDIGO re-opens at the Gandhi Memorial Centre, Washington DC, 2013 by the Indian Embassy.Lectures and talks were held at eminent universities India and abroad on project INDIGO.


  • Twelve Gates Art Gallery, 305 Cherry Street ,Philadelphia, PA 19106. November 12th, 2012.
  • India International Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, November 8th -15th 2013 (forthcoming)

Inspired by the Marcel Mauss book “Gift” (1923) which notes the expressions of love that help balance the power of relationships in the tradition of reciprocity and gift exchange, Shelly Jyoti’s ‘Reciprocity of love: Shagun’ retraces and investigates the idea of the quintessential embroidered geometric designs of traditional ’phulkaree‘ embroidery of North-western India, expressing love in a matrilineal fashion in a traditionally patriarchal society. Symbolically, the expression of universal love and gifting is a part of the unwritten social contract that embodies strong cultural, socio-political, and economic codings.

Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff in collaboration with the artists.The core group of artists includes :Shelly Bahl from New York and Toronto, Shelly Jyoti from New Delhi India; Laura Kina from Chicago; Saira Wasim from Chicago; American Cambodian Anida Yoeu Ali from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


‘VAMA’-Women painters of Delhi -SAHITYA KALA PARISHAD

Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts (IGNCA) New Delhi, India Participation in 2012

 Beyond Mithila: Exploring the Decorative 2008-2012

These works have travelled as solo shows in different venues in India and USA

  • Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL USA (2008)
  • Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai, India (2009)
  • Anne Lyod Gallery, Decatur, IL USA(2010)
  • India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India (2009)
  • Taj Palace, New Delhi, India (2010)
  • United Art Fair, New Delhi, India (2012)

‘Beyond Mithila : Exploring the Decorative’ series is like a fantasy of heritage, patterns and confluence of traditional art forms, references of embroideries and embellishments from India.   ‘My quest to translate the folk art with contemporary theme is conscious. It is this relationship of folk art that enables me to understand the past and theorise the present within my art premises’ says Shelly. The renderings on contemporary themes like “Woman: The three Generations” are done with inks and acrylics on hand made and Waterford sheets.

These artworks have been published by Sahitya Akadmei – Indian English literature sections and ‘Shringara’- A recent book by Dr Alka Pande.


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