Birth of Forgiveness: Chemould CoLab | Rithika Pandey

12 January - 25 February 2023

For Rithika Pandey’s first solo show in India she brings us nine tableaus: paintings in pursuit of healing and transformation.


Compared to previous bodies of work, Birth of Forgiveness displays colour palettes that have been subdued and compositions that have been scrupulously pared back. The stage we now stand before is much quieter. There is a solemnity, reverence and focus granted to the scenes that unfold. Pandey transcends the domestic boundaries of previous work and situates her protagonists in a liminal space where we can bear witness to their infinite performance of complex transformative rituals. Her characters – plant-like superspecies and more than human entities – weep, bleed and eject. They transmute and regenerate. They are born, die and are reborn.


After experiencing the death of two loved ones in 2021, Pandey embarked on an artistic inquiry – How do we heal? How do we love those who are no longer with us? How do we repair intergenerational trauma? Big questions. There is tension between Pandey’s modes of inquiry. She sees the employment of ancient and mythological modes of deduction as commensurate with that of the futuristic and scientific. The result is generative and unexpected.


Concurrent to the making of these works, was the collapse of Pandey’s ability to visualise futurity – a previously pivotal topic in her work. Grief, being a state so visceral that it forcibly grounds one in the present – or in Pandey’s case, in an atemporal state. Topically, this brings an inescapable universality to the work; that being: everyone has experienced, is experiencing or will experience grief at some point in their life.


-Thara Parambi

Installation Views