33cm x 33cm
Embroidery hoop with gouache and ink on paper
Rithika Merchant (b. 1986, Mumbai)
Rithika Merchant’s work can be viewed as a collection of modern artefacts that draw on myths, history and rituals. Each piece can be seen as a totem and invites the viewer to stitch together their own narrative, drawing on collective memories and signifiers to generate meanings. She invites the viewer to connect with an archetypal part of themselves and by extension tap into our collective roots. In doing so, she explores how objects can be markers of identity and how these may be reworked in contemporary contexts as meanings and interpretations change.
Nature plays a pivotal role in her work and is emphasised by the use of organic shapes and non-saturated colours. The paintings are made using a combination of watercolour and collage elements, drawing on 17th-century botanical drawings and folk art, to create a body of work that is visually linked to our collective pasts.
Rithika has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows, in India, Spain, Germany and the United States. In addition, she recently collaborated with Chloé to create a series of illustrations, which the fashion house reworked as textile prints, for the Spring-Summer 2018 collection.