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Artist of the day | Rohini Devasher

Rohini Devasher

Genetic Drift SYMBIONT 2


Acrylic, dry pastel, colour pencil, pan pastel, charcoal, vinyl on wall


Rohini Devasher, a Delhi based contemporary artist, was trained as a painter and printmaker. She works in a variety of media including sound, print and video. She received her M.A. in printmaking from the Winchester School of Art in the UK and her BFA in Painting from the College of Art in New Delhi. Rohini’s work mostly focuses on observing, recording, functionalizing and re-imagining objects and spaces that exist at the interface between science, nature, perception, culture and production. The idea of how in biology, we have invariant patterns and variable details but some things still remain the same, really excited her. She worked at the India Habitat Centre prior to her M.A; later she worked at the Khoj International Artists’ Association between 2005 and 2010. Her work is perfectly situated between the empirical and the imagined. Using the light produced by video feedback, for example, Devasher has crafted images of the metamorphosis of dragonflies, and of trees illuminated against a pitch-black background. In her large-scale, mixed-media works on paper, she presents microbes or chrysalises in intricate, delicate detail. Some of her current work involves research and fieldwork in astronomy. During her talk she mentioned a life-transforming experience she had when the longest solar eclipse could be witnessed in India, as the path of the phenomenon was traveling through Patna. This sensited her, making her aware about her position in the planet like never before.

Rohini’s first solo show ‘Breed’ was held at Project 88 in Mumbai in 2009 followed by her second solo ‘Permutation’ at Nature Morte, New Delhi in 2011. One of her projects was about looking at the notion of deep time through a Museum’s collection of fossils and corals. Rohini created a wall drawing taking inspiration from them. The concept that emerged looked at layers, which meant the lower you go, logically, the further back in time you travel. Both of these ideas require a deep sense of imagination and this excited her the most. She loves doing wall drawings which are site specific, temporary and destroyable. Devasher’s attention to detail and her naturalistic rendering make her forms look almost real, reflective of the deep connection between science and art.

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