Interpreting faith

In pictures
Last Updated 13 March 2013, 13:57 IST

What does the word ‘faith’ mean to you? Doing puja at your home every morning and evening? Visiting a temple, mosque or gurdwara daily? Or particularly donning a symbol of faith such as a rudraksh, tabeez or cross?

Here’s an interesting opportunity to witness some fine photography as well as widen your understanding of ‘faith.’ Visit an ongoing photo exhibition of seven talented lensmen (and women) who have interpreted faith in their own ways. ‘Faithfully yours’ is being held by CAMERAunLIMITED – a photographers’ collective, at the Arpana Caur Academy of Fine Arts, till March 17.

CAMERAunLIMITED has been promoting new photographers by exhibiting their works regularly. Its founder-member Ravi Dhingra informs Metrolife, “Outside the established rules of photography, young amateur photographers these days have been doing a lot of experimental work, both in terms of technique and subjects. It is important to bring them to limelight.”

“Therefore, we routinely hold exhibitions combining such photographers’ work as well as those of established ones. In the past, we have held exhibitions on themes such as abstract and femininity. This time, we thought why not ‘faith?’ Faith is not just restricted to religion and can mean different things to different people. So we asked our artistes to just let their imagination fly.”

Indeed, many interesting interpretations came up. Ambika Sethi, a visual artist, has depicted broken faith. For example, a sacred thread which looks on the verge of breaking, money becoming an important part of expressing religious faith and politics affecting religious activities.

For Raajan Sharma, a creative designer, faith assumes many more myriad meanings. He has portrayed a husband and wife participating in a religious ritual, probably, with the ‘faith’ that such acts will strengthen their relationship. In a striking thought, he has shot two young boys playing cricket in Kashmir. They seem to have ‘faith’ that normalcy will or has returned to their land.

Shilpi Choudhuri, a former marketing professional has delved deeper. She feels that even a child thrown in the air has ‘faith’ that a pair of hands will catch him in time. A patient has faith that the doctor he is attending will heal him and even a girl getting haircut has faith that the barber will not ashame her. All these are expressed in her unique shots.

Shivani Punia’s photographs depict what she calls ‘urban faith.’ A man is crossing the street. He has ‘faith’ that the traffic will not run him down. Even a cow negotiating a busy road is confident that it’ll survive the adventure. Also, there are pictures of ‘forgotten faith’ in urban settings such as an abandoned temple, trishul or tiny idol.

Augustus Mithal’s photographs are more light hearted. A good looking girl in a spaghetti top also flaunts a cross across her neck. A woman in a low waist skirt sports chuda (wedding bangles), and a young boy with a crazy hairdo and big black sunglasses has sacred ash smeared on his forehead.

(Published 13 March 2013, 13:57 IST)

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