P Madhoolika


Tracing Unseen Waters

Intermediate to Moist Deciduous Teak Forest
(Tectona- Dillenia- Lagerstroemia Lanceolata- Terminalia Paniculata Series )

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Nilgiri Biosphere in Western Ghats, the forests surrounding Wayanad, Kerala are immensely complex systems. They take on multiple identities- host to innumerable flora and fauna species, home to indigenous communities, and an impenetrable jungle, among others. This project aims to study this system through the lens of a wetland ecosystem that is seemingly unique to the region. Due to encroachment by colonial-era plantation forestry, the formation of these seasonal marshlands (‘vayal’) has been hindered. This project aims to interpret these complex ecosystems and identify a possible reconciliation or collaborative survival between forests, farms, and ‘unseen’ waters.

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Recording Landscapes: Pen and charcoal sketches of various landscapes- Agara Lake (Bangalore), Yercaud, Wayanad

A Narrative of the Forest: The journey through Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) was recorded through sections and sketches, drawn based on photographs, and arranged to convey the experience.

Correlating Systems: A study of the forest through an analysis of its contributing systems

Correlating Habitats: A look beyond the administrative boundaries of the forest, through the study of habitats of various flora and fauna species.

Forest, Farm and Unseen Waters: An analysis of conditions that allow the formation of vayals, through a study of maps, sections and texts.

Tracing Unseen Waters: A journey through the forest reveals the changing character- plantations, farms, vayals and dense forests.

Ideal Vayal System: Photomontage depicting an ideal healthy vayal system, a cradle of biodiversity and indicator of forest health.

An Invaded System: Photomontage depicting a system disturbed by humans, invasive plants and woody species.

Points of Pause: The threshold between the dense forest and the vayal system forms an ideal place to pause and understand this complex ecosystem. This threshold may take many forms.

Points of Pause: The ideal threshold to view this transient forest ecosystem would be at the edge of a dense moist deciduous forest.