ArtistsGalleries 21-04-2017

One artist, One studio | Benitha Perciyal

Benitha Perciyal is a young artist from Chennai (formerly Madras) in the Tamil Nadu region of south India. Such a geographical location proves a complex one for artists in a country where much is centralized in the north.


In spite of this, Perciyal captured the attention of many at the 2014 Kochi biennale “Whorled Explorations ”, curated by Jitish Kallat. She presented a series of sculptures entitled Odorantes made with spices and scents representing Christ, an unprecedented gesture in a country where art, even in its most contemporary iterations, rarely distances itself from religious replicas in multiple editions. Perciyal’s work stands out, and it bares testimony to her appartenance to the Indian Christian community in a country where almost 90% of the population is Hindu.

Faith is at the centre of her artistic practice and imbues it with a certain strength and authenticity. Perciyal positions herself and her work at the heart of an interreligious and an interethnic discourse. In India, where the scars of British colonisation still remain and standards of whiteness are still upheld, those from the south of the country, the Dravidian peoples, whose roots, cultures and languages differ, rarely have their voices heard on a national scale.

 

Exhibition view — Nature Morte, Delhi

 

Following her participation in the 2014 Biennale, Perciyal attracted significant attention and began working with the internationally renowned Nature Morte gallery (New Delhi) — one of the most established Indian galleries — after they offered her her first solo show earlier this year.

“There is no forgetting from the lips of the people”, was an opportunity for those unable to travel south to see ten of the 13 sculptures that were on show at the Kochi Biennale in Kerala.

 

@ Benitha Perciyal
 

Kochi biennale 2014

 

Kochi biennale 2014

 

Exhibition view — Nature Morte, Delhi

 

Kochi biennale 2014

 

Kochi biennale 2014

 

This article is part of H A P P E N I N G's series "One Artist | One Studio —Part 2".

 

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