Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Benitha Perciyal in her Studio, Chennai

Benitha Perciyal's practice emerges from her sustained engagement with materials, and their unique cultural lives. Her installations build on the qualities of the materials and objects she works with, which include but are not limited to, re-used Burma Teak, resins and fibres, spices, seeds, frankincense, Figwood, powders of coal and bark, and even Kolu dolls bazaar-bought figurines displayed during the Autumn festive season in South India.  

In her exhibition "Aggregate" at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, a multiplicity of portable library cupboards, assembled from re-used Burma teak, are arranged with row upon row of 'books' sculpted from discarded bits of beam, their paint chipping, their titles laser-engraved onto their spines. To quote Delhi-based art critic Rosalyn D'Mello, "Perciyal is perhaps one of the most mindful artists we can boast of, whose works are always a case of careful consideration with exacting, laborious proportions and deliberations that make them flawless yet wholly vulnerable in their exposed tactility." Throughout, the exhibition proposes the essence of the Aggregate. This extends to the building up of surface, layer by layer, of the interiors of her wall-mounted sculptures. The four wide mouthed containers in the exhibition, each cast as paper mache of a different fibre, are meticulously clad with the translucent seeds of the Spathodea Campanulata.  

Benitha has been particularly interested in exploring the vernacular in Christian faith in India, through architectural forms and traditional arts. The figures she casts, free of armature, and made of a fragrant dough of materials of ritual practice, are sometimes incorporated into the space, as are the Kolu dolls, which she re-casts in resin. Succinctly put by Chennai-based writer Sadanand Menon: "Benitha is among the few contemporary artists who exults in celebrating the sensuality of memory, erasure, trace. To mark the passage of time as an incremental aggregation is a crucial concern for her."

Born 1978 in Vellore, Tamil Nadu
BFA, Painting and Printmaking, Government College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai
MFA, Painting and Printmaking, Government College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai
Lives and works in Chennai


2019      'Aggregate', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai

2017      'There is no forgetting from the lips of the people', Nature Morte, New Delhi
2015      'Still and Still Moving Life', Artry Gallery, Kochi
2014      'How come you are here?', Bergamo Mall, Art Chennai
2013      'Rebirth', The Noble Sage Gallery, London
2012      'Ode to a Fierce Fecundity', organised by Art Chennai at Chandra Mandala, Chennai
2004      'Perturb me not', Alliance Francaise, Chennai
2003      'Museum', Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai


2019      'Contemplating the Spiritual in Contemporary Art', Rosenfeld Porcini, London

2019      India Art Fair (Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke), New Delhi
2017      'Memoires des futurs: Modernities indiennes', Centre Pompidou, Paris
2017      The Sculpture Park Edition 1, Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur
2017      Frieze Art Fair (Gallery Nature Morte), New York
2016      Yinchuan Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan, China
2016      'Diary Entries?', Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2014      'Whorled Explorations', Kochi-Muziris Biennale, curated by Jitish Kallat, Kochi
2013      'Wonderland', organised by Gallery Veda at Park Hyatt, Chennai
2012      India Art Fair (Gallery OED and Latitude 28), New Delhi
2012      'Re-picturing the Feminine', Gallery OED, Kochi
2012      'Firm Ground Beneath Her', Gallery Veda, Chennai
2012      'Tactile', Latitude 28, New Delhi
2012      'Emerging Idioms', Apparao Galleries, New Delhi
2012      'Eco Strokes', Durbar Hall Art Centre, Kochi
2012      'Art for Humanity', organised by citizens for justice and peace, Coomaraswamy Hall, Mumbai
2012      'To Let the World In: Narrative and Beyond in Contemporary Indian Art', curated by Chaitanya Sambrani, Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai, organised by Art Chennai
2011      'Emerging Idioms', Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi
2011      'Serendipity', Galleri Vreta Kloster, Sweden
2011      'Turn of the Tide', organised by Tangerine Art Space at The Taj, Bangalore
2011      'Madras Contemporary for Art Chennai', curated by Ashvin Rajagopal, Ashvita Gallery, Chennai
2010      'Artist of the Month', invited by Cholamandal Artist Village, Indigo-Lambudrum Gallery, Chennai
2010      'The Madras Accent', organised by Safion at Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore
2010      '16 Contemporary Women', Gowry Art Institute, Kallar & Vyloppilly Samskrithi, Trivandrum
2010      'Functional Art', Forum Art Gallery, Chennai
2010      'Search Within', Gallerie 88, Kolkata
2010      'Expression of Inner Space', Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi, Thrissur
2009      'Gender Genesis Genetics', Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2009      'Marco Polo Diaries', The Taj, Chennai
2009      India Art Summit (Apparao Galleries), New Delhi
2009      'Narrative Movements', Gallery Mementos, Bangalore, and Gallery with Difference, Kolkata
2009      'Perspecta', Indigo Gallery, Cholamandal, Chennai
2008      'Paper Pathways', Apparao Galleries, Chennai
2008      'Between the Lines', Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai
2008      'Trilogy 2', The Noble Sage Art Gallery, London
2008      'Harmony Arts Contemporary Show India', Mumbai
2008      'Surface to Origin', Gallery Soul Flower, Bangkok
2007      'Synergy: Shakti', Auroville, Pondicherry
2007      'The South', Apparao Galleries, New Delhi
2007      'The Whirlpool of Fate', Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center, New Delhi
2007      'Working Indian Artists from Lalit Kala Akademi', Graphicus Atelier, Cumberland, USA


2018       Arts Game Changer Award, India

2016       Amol Vadehra Art Award
2005       National winner, Camlin Euro Art Tour to London and Paris
2004       The Camlin 6th Southern Region Art Award
2004       Lalit Kala Akademi Research Grant 2003-04
2003       Scholarship to a Young Artist, Department of Culture, Government of India, 2003-05
2002-03  Arnawaz Vasudev Charities Scholarship  




August 09, 2019 - October 15, 2019


Once upon a teak door

by Akila Kannadasan , The Hindu