Femininity through photography

Femininity through photography

An all-women group photography exhibition with a rather interesting theme ‘femininity’ is on at the Arpana Caur Art Gallery, Siri Fort Institutional Area, currently.

The exhibition, aptly titled ‘Maayaa- A tribute to womanhood,’ claims to explore femininity from a feminine point of view. Featuring nine women photographers with 40 photographs and two installations, it is on till April 29 at the gallery.

The exhibition is an initiative by CAMERAunLIMITED - a collective of photographers which is actively providing young and amateur lensmen (and women) a platform to showcase their work. Even in ‘Maayaa,’ four of the nine photographers are rather new in the field. The rest are experienced camerapersons. CAMERAunLIMITED founder, a lifestyle photographer himself, Ravi Dhingra, says, “We came across the works of these women photographers and felt that no other subject could bring them together as beautifully as femininity. Hence, their creations have been put together for the first time in this exhibit.”

Indeed, the theme of femininity binds the photographs together very gracefully. They reflect a riot of colours, feminine softness and beauty. And yet, the distinct style of each of the nine women participants is reflected in their photographs in ‘Maayaa.’ Shubhra Chaturvedi, an HR professional uses mixed medium. She first takes the print of a photograph on canvas and then paints on it.
Using both art and photography, she has come up with some thoughtful works like the black and white photograph of a notebook which has red dots painted on it. Ashima Tiwari and Sakshi Gambhir, both working in the textile designing sector, have photographed fabrics. While Ashima has emphasised on the colours and visual feel of the cloth, Sakshi has got women figures screen, hand and block printed on them.

Nishat Rehman, who is pursuing her masters in visual communication from the College of Arts in Delhi, has photographed women’s hands only. She has caught them while engaged in various activities like putting on make-up- symbolic of beauty, holding a child- showing her as caring, and handling a mobile- portraying her as a successful professional.

Shobha Jolly, a former businesswoman, has deftly combined both femininity and masculinity in her photographs. One shows a woman riding a Harley Davidson bike her hands full of bangles, while another shows the reflection of a woman exercising with a dumbbell in a decorative mirror .

Moushumee Jha, who has a background in cinema, art and theatre, has taken pictures of women working backstage during events, while Nin Taneja, who is also a painter, has portrayed women at the crossroads of life. For example, a lady sitting under a tree which has a signboard saying U-turn.
Lastly, there are two installations by Kausiki Sarma- a documentary film maker and Puja Bahri - an artist. Kausiki’s video, called the ‘War of resilience,’ depicts travails of women in the conflict ridden North-east.

On the other hand, Puja’s stop-motion film called ‘Maayaa’- from which the name of the exhibition has been taken, combines 6000 photographs of women in different moods like dancing, laughing, cooking etc.

Ravi adds, “Maayaa made perfect sense as the title of the exhibition, as people often complain that women are like maayaa - an illusion. They are complex and very difficult to understand. We hope that these photographs help people decode the nature of a woman and enjoy her myriad aspects.”

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