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Being an ardent reader, Mansha Chattwal’s current works are focused on the subject of book burning as a way of looking at our past and recent history. Her work engages with issues of censorship, power, identity, memory and loss through stories of books, writers and libraries. With her research based practice, Mansha understands the various perspectives of storytelling that explores different angles, forms and concepts. Materials are employed to add a tactile layer that either add to the idea or stand at odds to it. She likes her work to be immersive, and encourages viewers to read beyond its visual qualities, identifying the books that have become the source of her inspiration.

In her current series ‘Brave Pages’, Mansha focuses on libraries and the books within them, which were attacked and burnt due to religious orthodoxies or political conflicts. The series of works is inspired by candle marches that take place after a tragedy occurs. These marches are an act of healing, solidarity, a hope for action and freedom of speech. She focuses on pages from books that have been burned or censored, now embalmed in wax to narrate the stories of their writers and cultural genocide. The wick of a candle and the smell of beeswax also remind us of the deep, almost religious reverence we humans have always had for books.

Mansha’s thoughtful practice has evolved after almost two decades as an advertising professional. As opposed to being limited by an advertising ‘Brief’ she wants her work to be exploratory, lucid and experimental. She likes working with different materials and developing new skill-sets, resulting in a multi-dimensional approach to her practice, including  drawings, sculptures, artist books and installations.

She recent exhibitions include ‘Out of your shadow’ by Blueprint12 at Gallery Espace, 2019; ‘The Reading Room’ at the Winchester Gallery, UK, 2015 and Saffron Art Gallery, New York, 2016; ‘Bartered Collections’ by Cona Projects at Mumbai Art Room, 2015; ‘Open Studio - Sarai Reader 09’ at Devi Art Foundation, 2013 and The Sketchbook Project Brooklyn Art Library, 2011.

Mansha is based in Mumbai, India.

 


Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: One Part Woman (Perumal Murugan), Book page, beeswax, fibre, ink, 25 cm x 15.5 cm, 2020 


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Liquidation (Imre Kertész), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 15 cm x 14 cms x 3.5 cms, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Liquidation (Imre Kertész), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 21 cm x 13 cm x 3.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy), Book page, beeswax, fibre and ink, 25 cm x 15.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Songs of a Coward (Perumal Murugan), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 28 cms x 11.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Liquidation II (Imre Kertész), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 22.5 cms x 23 cm x 3.5 cms, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Liquidation (Imre Kertész), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 22.5 cm x 23 cm x 3.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Liquidation III (Imre Kertész), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 21 cm x 13 cm x 3.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Border Town (Shen Congwen), Book page, beeswax and fibre, 23 cms x 30 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Taiwan Lun, (Kobayashi Yoshinori), Book page, beeswax, fibre, ink, pigment, 26.5 cm x 17.5 cm, 2020


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: This Earth of Mankind (Pramoedya Ananta Toer), Book page, fibre, beeswax and blue Ink, 24 cm x 15.5 cm, 2019


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Oppressed By Nights Of War (S. Sivaramani), Book page, fibre, beeswax, blue ink, 26 cm  x 17 cm, 2019


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Sexualpathologie (Magnus Hirschfeld), Book page, fibre, beeswax and blue ink, 29 cm x 17 cm, 2019


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Altered Book Art made of beeswax by Mansha Chhatwal

Brave Pages: Buddha Murdered (M. A. Nuhman), Book page, fibre, beeswax and blue ink, 26 cm x 17 cm, 2019


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Drawing made of book ash and charcoal by Mansha Chhatwal

Library: Institute for Sexual Science (Berlin, 1933), Book ash, acrylic medium, ink on archival paper, 75 cm x 55 cm, 2019


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Drawing made of book ash and charcoal by Mansha Chhatwal

Library: Jaffna Public Library (Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 1981 & 1985), Book ash, acrylic medium, ink on archival paper, 75 cm x 55 cm, 2019


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Drawing made of book ash and charcoal by Mansha Chhatwal

Library: Hakim Nasir Khusraw Balkhi Cultural Center (Pol-e Khumri, Afghanistan, 1998), Book ash, acrylic medium, ink on archival paper, 75 cm x 55 cm, 2019


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Drawing made of book ash and charcoal by Mansha Chhatwal

Drawing the Line of Intolerance, Book ash, acrylic on archival paper, 55 cm x 37.5 cm each (set of 7), 2019


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Drawing made of cut alphabets by Mansha Chhatwal

Songs of a Coward, Book pages, glue on archival paper, 55 cm x 75 cm, 2019


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