“Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
In this series, Origin of Species, Rithika Merchant explores hybrid creatures. She describes this project as an investigation into “the duality within nature and the idea of many selves in conversation with each other.”
When making her works, Merchant first figures out how she wants the creatures to interact. This is followed by research, which includes looking at pictures animals and plants, specifically, Botanical Drawings from the 18th and 19th Century. Merchant is also inspired by tribal art. Her favourite is the art of the Gond people, a tribe in central India. The inspiration behind the works, together with the arbitrary colouring throughout this series, make the works come alive.
In her most recent series, Merchant deals with comparative mythology. As she describes the series, “I explore the common thread that runs through different cultures and religions. Similar versions of all these myths, stories and ideas are shared by cultures all around the world.I use creatures and symbolism that are part of my personal visual vocabulary to explore these narratives.” Currently she is re-interpreting the idea of the monomyth, the story of the hero, from the perspective of the heroine. To see more of Merchant’s works, click here.