Lavanya Mani was born in the year 1977 and started her formal training in 1995 by enrolling in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. She later finished her Master’s of Fine Arts in the year 2001 from the same university. In that same year, she also received her PhD from the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. She held her first ever solo show in 2009 titled ‘In Praise of Folly’ at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai. She has also participated in various group shows like ‘Destination Inde: Un Voyage Avec L’art Indien’, at Paris in 2006, ‘Inner Vision’ at the Guild, New York in 2008 and ‘Cynical Love: Life in the Everyday', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi in 2012. She was granted a Junior research fellowship from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi from 2001 to 2003. In 2001 she won the Nasreen Mohammedi Award for Painting from M.S University Baroda. In the year 2006, she received the Kashi Award for Visual Art from the Kashi Art gallery, Kochi.
Lavanya Mani’s sources of inspiration are rich and varied, ranging from the Kalamkari textile tradition to the Mughal miniature. Some of her most interesting work can be witnessed when she uses these traditional techniques and bases the theme of her works on the colonial history of India and Victorian literature. Apart from exploring the colonial history of India through her work she also tries to fight against the distinction placed between high art and craft by bringing them together in perfect sync. The artist lives and works in Baroda.