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    Why Kirti Chandak’s installations at Tasmai gallery are different

    Kirti Chandak, the Pondicherry-based artist and owner of Tasmai gallery, has four installations as part of the ongoing exhibition, What Nature Gave Me. Each installation has a story behind it. Chandak’s favourite material is paper pulp because of its multiple uses. “It is like paper where you can paint on it; then it is like cloth where you can perforate it to make textures and embroider it; and finally, it is also like any malleable clay material that can be used to mould and make impressions with,” the artist explains. Chandak is also fascinated by mediums like wood, seeds, cloth, sea shells, stones (mainly granite) and natural fibres. ‘‘I also love working with recycled materials.”

    Stand and stare
    The 43-year-old artist fell in love with dried teak leaves during a trek in the Gir forest in 1998, and included it in her first installation, What Nature Gave Me. Her second piece, What the Coconut Tree Gave Me, comes with a personal note—it is made with coconut shells from the tree in her house. The third piece, Taka Mati, is made with coins—mostly 25 and 50 paisa ones. “What happens when a piece of metal, moulded into a coin, suddenly loses its potency? Taka mati is a phrase in Bengali that means ‘money is dust’,” she says.

    At Tasmai gallery, till May 1. From `a lakh onwards. Details: 0413 222 1052

    Mrinalini Sundar

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