Growing up between the UK and India, art has always been an essential part of Michelle’s life. With a graduate degree in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Arts at the American College, her art practice has developed over time to incorporate her strong graphic sensibility and proclivity towards visual beauty, use of experimental techniques and an eye on socially relevant subject matter, as most recently embodied in her large-scale, multimedia installation Introspection.
Michelle Poonawalla’s artist practice formalized with her first show in 2016 at the Gateway School in Mumbai. Whilst her art practice has varied, experimenting with techniques and technology has remained a constant element in her approach. She marries a classic paint-on-canvas style with experiments in mixed-media and digital mapping technology, to create dynamic, three-dimensional works that have a distinct, contemporary sensibility.
Michelle Poonawalla’s visual vocabulary draws upon her deep sense of aesthetics and eye for beauty, using vibrant colours and motifs, particularly her signature butterflies. The subject matter of Poonawalla’s artworks refer to universally resonant themes, whilst the strong interactive element in her work highlight her belief in the power of art to create meaningful impact in the world.
In 2017 Michelle Poonawalla has also illustrated and published a children’s book The Adventures of Harvey Mouse Sleepover with her daughter.
Her acclaimed art exhibitions include – Khushi – India On Canvas in conjunction with Sotheby’s, New Delhi, 2017; India Art Story, Kolkata, 2017; Elephant Parade India, New Delhi, Mumbai and London, 2017 and 2018; What If You Fly, a solo exhibition at Vis A Vis Gallery, New Delhi and Spazio Gallery, Pune, 2018; Moving into the Future – Harvest 2018, a group exhibition at Stainless Gallery, New Delhi, 2018; a project at the Parma Art Fair, Born Free at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2018 and Introspection, a collateral project at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 and a guest exhibition at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, March 2019 and the Saatchi Gallery – START Art Fair, London in September 2019.