(Australia 26 Oct 1936 – 25 Dec 1987)
120.0 x 165.5 cm board
Chinnamudaliar Chavadi (also known as Chinna Mudaliar Chavady) is a small village in Southern India on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, 10 kilometres north of the city of Pondicherry and the close to the township of Auroville. Chinnamudaliar Chavadi is a shelter named after a younger 'Mudali', or one who holds money or capital.
The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - was put before the Government of India, who gave their backing and took it to the General Assembly of UNESCO. In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.
On 28th February 1968 some 5,000 people assembled near the banyan tree at the centre of the future township for an inauguration ceremony attended by representatives of 124 nations, including all the States of India. The representatives brought with them some soil from their homeland, to be mixed in a white marble- clad, lotus-shaped urn, now sited at the focal point of the Amphitheatre. Auroville is located in south India, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of Pondicherry), a few kilometres inland from the Coromandel Coast, approx 160 kms south of Chennai (previously Madras) and 10 kms north of the town of Pondicherry.
In 1970 James Clifford travelled to India where he lived until 1974, when he returned to Sydney. He held two exhibitions at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry in 1971 and 1972.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004
Helen Verity Hewitt, Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, 'White and the Sydney Art World: 2', pg. 84-93, Carlton, 2002, 86-87, 125-126.