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August 25, 2019 Comments (0) Views: 85 Art

Rithika Merchant’s thought-provoking and striking work is an exploration of the common thread that runs through different cultures and religions.

Your work clearly narrates the history, culture, traditions as well as mythology of different countries. How do you create an interpretable art form?

I have always been very interested in the narratives, myths and received histories that are available to us. I am also interested in how these different fragments are ‘woven’ together to form a complete image. Most cultures use imagery to tell stories and represent ideas. I try to use these ancient means of storytelling in a more contemporary context.

What inspires you?

Travel inspires me, as it helps me learn about other cultures and educates my world view; and nature, especially the science and the processes behind its varied forms. I am also intrigued by biology, especially that of the human body, and its implications.

Which have been your most memorable projects?

My ‘Voyager’ series is the most meaningful. The mass displacement of people, forced migration and the dislocation and exile of many groups of people all over the world are very troubling to me. Living in Barcelona I have felt very helpless watching the European refugee crisis unfold right on my doorstep. My most recent show in India titled ‘Where the Water Takes Us’ dealt with the profound effect this has had one me.

How did your tryst with fashion begin?

Natacha Ramsay-Levi, creative director of Chloé (a French fashion house) was browsing the internet and pulling images and she came across my work. She really liked it and contacted me to say that it fit what she had in mind for her ‘painted dresses’. It was totally out of the blue for me and a very nice surprise!

This article was originally published in POOL 107.

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