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'Wild Mango and Rose', now showing
at the Royal Academy Summer
Exhibition.
Size: 56 by 76 cms,
Edition size: 30
part of an ongoing series of works based on immune boosting plants and trees from the East and West. This project started during the first lockdown when I was in India. It was a way of bridging two worlds through my long running interest and love for all plant life.
The Wild Mango tree, I drew in Kodagu. 
Inspired by the Devakads and by Cauvery Calling, @rallyforrivers a frankly remarkable agroforestry charity that is re greening vast swathes of land along the river Cauvery in South India. They have now received UNCCD accreditation for their work. This river has its source in Kodagu, my home town and so this charity is close to my heart.  🌸🌳








 

Devakad-wildnutmeg&silverbirch--56by76cm

'Weathering the Storm' Candida Stevens Fine Art.

Showing with artist Kerry Harding. (9th April to 1st of May '21)

https://candidastevens.com/exhibitions/62-weathering-the-storm-kerry-harding-chitra-merchant/overview/

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Devakad - Liminal showing at the Royal Academy Summer / Winter Show 2020. 

DEVAKAD, A REGION BEYOND REASON

Chitra has been engaged with exploring the forest ecologies of  the Western Ghats in South Indian  for a few years now. Having grown up in this region, she travels back regularly and has a long standing connection to it passed down from her grandfather who was a forest officer in these parts.

She is particularly inspired by the 'Devakads' (Sacred Groves) found in these regions and the stories and mythologies that surround them.

The resulting drawings, paintings and prints seek to explore and highlight the biodiversity as well the inherent wild mystery underlying the existence of these spaces.

Chitra also hopes to shed light on the many environmental issues and threats facing this  fast diminishing landscape. 

The trees in these artworks are very much rooted in observational drawings of ancient existing species, keeping in mind their particular values to the local population in terms of their medicinal, spiritual and symbolic aspects. With this base, the trees are placed / drawn into landscapes that traverse from the known into the mythical, into a  “Region beyond Reason”  

These works seek to highlight the biodiversity as well the inherent wild mystery underlying the existence of these spaces. 

Chitra also hopes to shed light on the many environmental issues and threats facing this  fast diminishing landscape. 

(A "Region Beyond Reason" is a phrase coined by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, an Indian mystic, yogi and humanitarian.

Part of the proceeds of sales from these works goes to support a charity called 'Cauvery Calling', an agroforestry initiative (UN accredited) thats working toward reviving the river Cauvery in South India by planting tree based crops all along its banks. www.ishaoutreach.org/en/cauvery-calling