of the ground

Solo exhibition 

The Guild

29 May to 26 June 2022 

  . VIEWS              . ARTWORKS             . PRESS RELEASE              

The Guild is delighted to announce the second exhibition in our silver jubilee year, of the ground, a solo show of artist Rashmimala's works, based on a residency completed at Alibaug in 2021. The show will preview on 28th May at our Alibaug gallery, and will be on view till 19th June, 2022.

Plants in my painting are suspended with no shadows. Plants that grow on the pavement or on dryland share the same space as in an illuminated manuscript, a colonial herbal compendium, or a medieval visual atlas. In some of the series, they represent the shifts in agricultural colonisation or migration. In others, a newly emerging ecology of urban botany. They are the wasteland plants often we miss to cast an eye on.
 Growing plants and painting plants go hand in hand in my space. Drawings move alongside the interspecies communication with reciprocity. As light, water and weather bring changes to a plant, my drawings search in botanical records to find the suitable registration of life.
The residency in Alibaug followed immediately after the opening up of pandemic lockdown offered me a fresh view of weeds and creepers growing around. How a short gap of time in the absence of humans changes the groundscapes, of the groundÖ  - Rashmimala


Indian Jujube

Indian Jujube (Ber), Ziziphus mauritiana, is a tropical fruit tree species belonging to the family Rhamnaceae. In the flowering season, the Indian Jujube fruit depends on cross-pollination by insects. Its thick pollen is not airborne and hence transferred from flower to flower by honeybees, ants and other insects. The seeds are spread by birds, animal stock and humans. They are a common sight on the roadside during walks. This represents an entire ecosystem in urban areas. These native plants and trees are being substituted by the authorities with non-native plants like Conocarpus. The easy and fast-growing Conocarpus are a threat to the environment if planted in mass.


Bheem Kol

Musa balbisiana or Bheem Kol is a wild variety of banana with plenty of seeds that grows in abundance in North-Eastern India. Nutritionally better than many other varieties, this banana can cure diseases like polio if fed regularly to infants. Traditionally it is used for preparing a kind of alkaline base, almost as a substitute for salt. Commonly, Bheem Kol peels are sun-dried and burned to obtain the distilled alkaline base known as Khar, a quintessential element of the regionís cuisine. In a recent reference, the Aboriginal Australian artist Marie Ryder drew on traditional dot painting techniques in Bush Bananas, her celebration of the bush banana (Marsdenia australis), which can thrive even in arid environments and forms an important element of the diet of the Eastern Arrernte people of Central Australia.



Muga silk is a variety of wild silk geographically tagged to the state of Assam. This silk is known for its extreme durability and has a natural yellowish golden tint with a shimmering glossy texture. In the Brahmaputra Valley, the larvae of the Assam silk moth feed on aromatic Som (Machilus bombycina) and Sualu (Litsea polyantha) leaves. After every wash, its lustre increases. Here, the surface is prepared by using old and used Muga silk, a piece of my motherís discarded garment.


About the Artist

Rashmimala (b. 1975) obtained her Bachelorís and Masterís Degree in Painting in 1998 and 2000 and later completed her Masterís in Art Criticism in 2002 from M. S. University of Baroda. Her previous solo exhibition in 2018 titled transplant at Nazar Art Gallery, Vadodara focused on the genre of botanical illustrations and their historical anecdotes.
 Rashmimalaís participations include India Art Fair, New Delhi, presented by The Guild (2022); Abu Dhabi Art, UAE, presented by The Guild (2021); Voices from the Courtyard, Baroda, for Womanifesto 2020, at Trans-Southeast Asia Triennial (2020), organized by Art Museum of Guangzhou, Research Center for New Art Museum Studies and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts; Notes, Documents & Processes, an online exhibition at Hyderabad Literary Festival (2021); Mindful Circulations, curated by Kerstin Winking, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2019); Interlude - I, Knots Collective Annual Show, Baroda, (2018); Morphology of Archive Ė Connected Histories of Goa, Museum of Goa Contemporary Arts (MOG), Goa, (2016); Papyrus Indic, Mayfair Art Gallery, Baroda (2016); Story Ltd, online exhibition, Saffron Art (2014-2015); India Art Fair, New Delhi (2013); Fluid, The  Site, GIDC, Baroda (2013); Presence Absence, Kochi Muziris Biennale Collateral, Kochi, (2013); Black Drizzle, State Art Gallery, Guwahati, Assam, (2011); Subject-Object, Gallery Ragini, Lado Sarai, New Delhi (2011) and Group Show, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2011).
Rashmimala has participated in several camps and workshops. The most recent one includes Voices from the Courtyard, by Varsha Nair, for Womenifesto, in Vadodara (2020). She also regularly conducts workshops. Some of the latest ones are Documenting the Ephemeral for The Art Room, a collateral event for Kochi Muziris Biennale (2019) and Eco Artists Residency organized by Green The Blue Charitable Trust, Vadodara (2019).
Besides her art practice, Rashmimala has worked on extensive archiving projects of artists such as Jyoti Bhatt and Nilima Sheikh. She lives and works in Vadodara.


About The Guild  

The Guild was established in 1997 with an aim to function as a semi-institutional space within the bustling art-hub of Mumbai, India. Since its inception, it has been providing a platform for discursive practices, innovation and experimentation in contemporary art. The Guild has been recognised as a pioneering gallery with its important roster of artists of diverse generations who have brought in robust dialogue within and across the disciplines. It believes in promoting critical ideas and artists who are engaged in cutting-edge practices in distinctive mediums reflecting diverse perspectives. The Gallery has held major retrospectives of important artists:  Sudhir Patwardhan, Navjot Altaf and G. R. Iranna. It has collaborated with premier national art centres and has been promoting its artists to various international cultural institutions, art fairs through exhibitions, residencies and workshops.  

For over two decades The Guild has nurtured artistic production as well as the curatorial practices in India. It has contributed extensive scholarship on contemporary art through academically and critically rigorous publications authored by well-known academicians, art critics, art historians and artists Ė on artists and their practices. The range of public outreach programmes is integral to the exhibitions hosted by the gallery. In 2015, The Guild opened its new premises in Alibaug, an upcoming art district near Mumbai with a large exhibition space, expanding its relevance outside the urban spaces, and continues to vigorously serve the field of visual arts in India.  

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