Grosvenor Gallery is pleased to announce the first ever solo show for the painter Chameli Ramachandran (b. 1940) to be held outside of her native India. Born in Santiniketan, West Bengal to Chinese and Indian parents and named after the jasmine flower that is coveted in the region for its sweet fragrance, Chameli Ramachandran’s paintings convey an adoration of nature and a strong affinity with two of the world’s most historically beautiful cultures. Placid studies of the vegetation native to her homeland – hibiscus and gardenia flowers, peepal, silver oak and rain trees – and from her frequent visits to the lotus ponds and palm groves of Thiruvananthapuram are done using ink sourced from China. Done freehandedly, her work echoes the fluidity of classic Chinese calligraphy, but the subtle splashes of brilliant silver and gold are recognizably of Indian origin. Capturing the subtle movement of trees and flowers as they sway in the breeze, or sea waves lapping against time-weathered rock formations, the watercolours are simultaneously meditative and joyful.
Educated at Kala Bhavan and Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan with a diploma in Fine Arts and Crafts and a Master’s degree in Ancient Indian History and Culture, Chameli lives in works in New Delhi with her husband, the artist A. Ramachandran, who also sometimes collaborates with her writing and illustrating a series of children’s books that have been published in Japan, India, and England. Her 2005 solo show, at the Vadehra Gallery in New Delhi, was called ‘In the Silence of the Soul.’