Paintings between Carmarthen and Mumbai Present Surreal Feelings of Disconnection at Chapter

Carmarthen School of Art graduate Rithika Pandey presents Everything has its time, a selection of evocative and deeply personal paintings for Chapter’s Art in the Bar programme that shares a nomadic embrace of surrealist futures.

Rithika Pandey’s richly coloured figurative paintings are borne from her childhood as a cultural nomad; she grew up in a family that moved between places in India and Africa, before studying in the UK. These experiences provided her with a remarkable collection of impressions of colours and a unique vibrancy that bring her paintings to life.

Works in Everything has its time were created throughout 2020 and 2021, in Wales and Mumbai. This period throughout the pandemic and travels between Wales and Mumbai brought little permanence, meaning every experience became a practice of detachment, looking inward to navigate the conflicts of the psyche. Earlier works bring together feelings of displacement and in-between spaces, and later works draw on intergenerational traumas and how it leaks out.

Rithika reflects on this: “In works such as Loving you at the space of separation between out Interlude and Event, the protagonists are communication through a wish-fulfilling plant but they are also wounded by the same plant, so there’s a painful struggle to communicate, which is so common in many traditionally patriarchal South Asian families where women are expected to repress their individual needs and desires.”

Rithika’s practice draws from the personal, mythological, and scientific to navigate the mystical spaces within our human entanglements. Foregrounding issues around hybridity, displacement, the future, and femininity, her painted worlds are sacred paces where boundaries are transgressed, and transformations are imminent.

Imagined worlds propose interstellar realities, occupied by potent psychological motifs, with protagonists who speak in non-verbal metaphors, as well as other more-than-human agencies intricately woven together in ritual. Her work highlights the nature of companionship and recovery and opens allegorical possibilities of a future that goes beyond apocalypse as an endpoint.

Rithika Pandey was born in Varanasi, India in 1998. Following her recent graduation from Carmarthen School of Art, she is now based between India and the UK.

Recent exhibitions include: ‘Hymn of creation’, ADA, Rome, Italy and ‘Only What is Never Another’, Grosvenor Gallery, London, UK (both 2022); ‘No Rushing For Warmth’ Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, London, UK and ‘The Past is a Foreign Place’ Arcade Campfa, Cardiff (both 2021).

Reflecting on her time at Carmarthen School of Art, Rithika Pandey said: “My time at Carmarthen was truly special because I was given a lot of love and patience by my mentors. I has abundant space and silence to experiment with ideas that consolidated all the chaos I was carrying into something eloquent. I owe my breakthroughs in thinking and approach to painting, to my time spent there.”

Selected press for Rithika Pandey is available here: