Undying love for doors, corridors and alleyways

Undying love for doors, corridors and alleyways

Photographs, like painti­ngs in the Indian context, often focus on narration. There would be characters (even if only plants and animals), a sequence of events and a moral to the story described.

Only relatively recently, have photographers started playing with the abstract where the beauty of still life is profiled, a viewer is invited to enjoy ‘just the moment’ and take back the message of keenly observing one’s surroundings.

Jyotica Sikand, lately, explored this space with her photography exhibition ‘Apertures and Shutters’ at the India International Centre. A series of shots, taken at locations across the world, depicted only doors, windows, corridors and alleyways. Each projected a geometric pattern as if conceived and framed with the most precise mental calculation.

Yet, the beauty of each structure drew one into the world that lies beyond those window frames. ‘Apertures and Shutters’ came out to be ingenious, vibrant, elegant and a visual treat for all those who visited the Art Gallery at IIC.

Light and shadows made for an essential element in Jyotica’s work. The defunct observatory, Jantar Mantar, ca­me alive with an interesting dance of sunrays on Ram Ya­n­­tra - the sundial, in her sho­ts. The small and large, beautifully arranged niches in Agrasen ki Baoli made for so­me more brilliant photogra­phs. 

Sikand displayed a nearly-obsessive love for corridors, particularly those multiple arches, shooting them at Be­lur, Seringapatna (Karna­ta­ka), Lucknow, Chittor and practically everywhere she saw them. Stairs and ladders, owing to their design, also caught her attention. She captured ornate antiquated ones in Shimla and Jodhpur and even an ordinary ladder used, probably, for restoration work, at a Delhi monument.

Her love for windows and decorative jharokhas was on proud display in pictures of the ancient cities – Patan and Bhaktapur in Nepal. Alleyways, small gardens and nooks and crannies found a place in photographs of the blue city – Marrakech in Morocco. 

A splash of colours could be found in her renderings of Goa and Pondicherry. A bright yellow wall with a border of canary blue and a red scooter placed against it, made for an enjoyable scene. And so did the serene greens of Pushkar and reds of Buddhist temples in Thailand. Sikand’s work is one to watch out for.

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