The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) is delighted to announce that The Amol Vadehra Art Grant  2015-16 will support the work and research of Chennai-based artist Benitha Perciyal.

The Amol Vadehra Art Grant 2015-16 will support her research into the technique of stucco or suthai, and the production of a body of works that will combine lime stucco, incense and wood. Stucco has been the traditional alternative to stone in sculptural traditions in Tamilnadu; afragile medium that has largely been lost with the popularity of cement.  The grant will further enable her to work with wood carving clusters in Thanjavur, Papanasam, Cuddalore, and Nagercoil, and travel to Kalvarayan Hills to collect guggul, a gum resin, which has long been used in ayurvedic and ritual contexts, for her incense mix.

The applications for The Amol Vadehra Art Grant 2015-16 were invited based on nominations. The recipient of the grant was selected by a jury that included Lekha Poddar, Bose Krishnamachari, and Roshini Vadehra. 

About the Artist
Benitha Perciyal’s highly experimental practice emerges from her sustained engagement with materials and their unique cultural lives, and her own journey to discover the multiple facets of faith and its material manifestations. She is particularly engaged with exploring the vernacularisation of the Christian faith in India through architectural forms, traditional arts and symbolisms.

Benitha is very conscious of her choice of materials used in her works. While she has worked with paints and store-bought materials, she found that she couldn’t make them speak for themselves like she would have liked. Since the last few years she has been actively foraging in flea markets to find objects that people have discarded and adopted these objects into her own life, living with them and incorporating them into her work.

Currently she is deeply engaged with exploring ‘smell’ and the strong associations that they can evoke. She explains, “Restoring found objects is like our need to restore our faith (which we lose at times).... smell too disappears (and) in a way I restore my faith in life and my continuity with the transience of smell and all the material I use.”

Benitha Perciyal has completed her BFA in painting and MFA in printmaking from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai. She has participated in various exhibitions since, and her recent shows include, Diary Entries curated by Gayatri Sinha, Gallery Espace (2016), and Whorled Explorations, curated by Jitish Kallat, Kochi Muziris Biennale, Cochin (2014). Her recent solos were held at Art Chennai, Chennai (2014) and Noble Sage Gallery, London (2013). She lives and works in Chennai.