Artist Kirti Chandak gets creative with an unusual medium — paper pulp.
When Kirti Chandak was an MFA student at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, her friend offered her some paper pulp to experiment with. That day was the start of a deep love affair with the material. “Paper pulp as a medium really resonates with me,” she explains, “After years of working with it and creating installations as well as paintings, I get a feel of its tremendous possibility and character.” Though the Pondicherry-based artist usually hops next door to a paper-making factory to buy readymade pulp by the kilo, this does not really shave off time from the process of creating paper art. Kirti admits that working with pulp is a long, demanding task. First she allows the pulp to dry over a layer of gauze, which adds a kind of texture to the pulp. She then uses water colours over the dried material. The artist also has to take into account space — she spreads her work all over the floor — and cut out distractions and interruptions. Of all the things that draw her to pulp, “It’s malleable, allows me to create texture and explore fascinating concepts that wouldn’t have found expression elsewhere,” she says.