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    With trees as inspiration, Chandra Morkonda on his first solo exhibit.

    Basing his creations on the ‘wish fulfilling tree’ from Hindu mythology, artist Chandra Morkonda will be displaying an interesting line-up of 25 paintings in his first standalone exhibit. “Trees have always found a very strong place in the Puranas. I wanted to tap into that symbolism,” says the 27-year-old, explaining how his collection, Kalpavriksha, explores the spiritual harmony between trees and the deities on canvas. Visitor is one such painting, where he draws parallels between the mythical Kamadhenu (a wish-granting bovine goddess) and the titular cosmic tree. The Bodhi Tree is another of Morkonda’s picks from his six-month-old project, which sees Gautama Buddha and the peepal tree. “While the quintessential Buddha painting obviously depicts his peaceful eyes and radiant complexion, I decided to intentionally leave out those characteristics and focus on his ‘enlightenment’,” says the Hyderabad-based artist, who has had a fascination for trees since a very young age and works predominantly with religious motifs (a few of his initial works were themed around the Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata). Mixed media in Indian ink, being his artwork’s primary technique, Morkonda’s colour palette includes shades of saffron and yellow. “Etching and printmaking are among the forms that I would like to adapt in my upcoming paintings,” he says. Next up, the artist plans to take Kalpavriksha to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi.

    At Forum Art Gallery. From  November 12. Details: 42115596

    —Sruthi Ganapathy Raman


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