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'Entangled Anthology'


2024

Watercolour on Khadi paper, beeswax, glass

 

A new series of botanical drawings, based on the 19th Century unpublished and uncredited works of Cheluviah Raju, created in ‘Company school’ style, a fusion of Mughal miniature painting and Western scientific botanical illustration. An inventory of Raju’s drawings was discovered in the archives of Kew Gardens and used by the artist to create a new series of botanical illustrations: plant portraits of medicinal species found growing in Lalbagh Botanic Garden, The South London Botanical Institute (founded by Allan Octavian Hume, a botanist who worked in British India) and varieties, introduced from across the world, now found in English municipal parks. 

 

Many of the botanists working for the East India Company were medical doctors, tasked with identifying and categorising plants to be used for predominantly marketable and medicinal purposes. Much was learned from indigenous medicinal practices, and this exchange led to the rapid expansion of the exploitative industry of economic botany.

Part of a body of work created through a funded project with Artcore, UK at 1Shanti Road, Bangalore, India.

A response to Lalbagh Botanic Garden, Derby Arboretum and the ancient Nallur Tamarind Grove (the first protected site of biodiversity in India) with an exploration of post-colonialism, ecology and place.

 

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