Gouri Vemula was born in 1972 in Hyderabad. Prior to her engagement with art, Gouri was a National level athlete. She completed her BFA in Painting from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad, and MFA in Print Making from Sarojini Naidu School of Art, Hyderabad, along with a Drawing Masters’ course from Vijaymahantesh Lalit Kala Mahavidyalaya, Karnataka.
Vemula’s work is vividly enriched by her skilled use of the methods of etching and drypoint technique as well as pen and ink drawing. Her works often unravel surreal landscapes with mythic figures of gods and goddesses, animals and human figures as well as magical objects and motifs from the natural world. Her work draws substantial influence from the mythic visual lexicon, but she also reinvents a new iconography by situation them in imagined landscapes with unreal animals or sometimes fusing them with objects. Gouri’s work draws our attention to motifs which are part of the art historical legacy of India, but she also forges a new idiom by placing them in a contemporary context. Her delicate balancing of the images conjures the amalgamation of real and unreal; mythic and mundane and fantasy and desire.
In her most recent body of work showcased at Art Heritage, The Fantasy World of Gouri Vemula (2016), Vemula uses the signs of the zodiac as her point of departure. Unleashing her creative inner eye, she offers us a glimpse of a dream world. The living creatures that represent each Sun Sign assume mythical proportions through her evocative pen and ink delineations, With an amazing skill of draughtsmanship and an unerring sense of composition, Vemula draws from indigenous classical and popular traditions of Indian iconography, creating imagined landscapes where gods, humans and nature coexist in a passionate cosmic play.
Vemula’s first solo show was held at Art Heritage in 2001, followed by solo shows at Minaz Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2003); Shrishti Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008); Art Heritage (2010); and India Fine Art Gallery, Mumbai (2012). She has participated in several group shows including the 5th & 6th Bharat Bhavan International Biennale of Print Making in 2002 & 2004; Six Women Artists, Art Heritage (2004); Art Kaleidoscope, Hyderabad (2006); Art Alive Gallery, London (2007); Minaz Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2008); Icon Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2009 & 2010). She is a recipient of several awards including the 74th National All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award, New Delhi in 2002, and 43rd National Exhibition of Art at Lalit Kala Academy Award, New Delhi in 2001. Her work is part of several prestigious collections, including the Alkazi Collection and others. She lives and works in Hyderabad.