Monochromatic frames

An image shows a woman wearing a ghoonghat holding on to her young son, who is looking away from her, into the world beyond. Titled ‘Umbilical Chord’, the photograph beautifully captures the bond between a mother and her child. “I have tried to depict a range of human emotions in the backdrop of our historical monuments. Here, the mother is orthodox and is holding on to her young son as he seeks out. This candid image was shot at the Amer Fort in Rajasthan,” says Shoba Jolly.

The picture is part of ‘36 Shades of Grey’, a monochrome photo art exhibition featuring works by six diverse photographers — Monidipa Dey, Niraj Gera, Rashmi Rai, Ravi Shail, Yatinder Kumar and Jolly. Put together by CAMERAunLIMITED, a collective which aim is to develop a creative platform to support a range of camera oriented practices, the show also serves as a stage for photographers who are keen to display their works but have not got an opportunity.

“The show is all about capturing different situations in our lives which are not quite simple as black and white; there are always shades of grey. Through their photographs, each artist tries to highlight the uncertainties in our daily lives, the undefined moments. The grey areas may represent the compromises all of us make to survive in this so-called cruel world. What appears simple and straight forward is quite complicated and ambiguous. The show is all about these ambiguities,” says Ravi Dhingra, curator.

The show features six works in black and white by each photographer, which Dhingra says has helped bring variety to the show otherwise bound by a common theme. He adds, “Each artist brings out a different story, a different interpretation and a different treatment to the theme”.

Delhi-based photographer Rashmi Rai says she has tried to invoke elements of spirituality through her works. “My images are also captioned in a similar way. The image which shows a boat and a bird is titled ‘Contemplation’ while that showing a fisherman at work is called ‘Deep Cleansing’. Also, my images reflect fine art photography, which give a painting-like look to the photograph,” she tells Metrolife.

Elucidating the reason behind organising a monochromatic show, Dhingra says photography started with black and white, with colour being introduced much later. “Technically, black and white photography is much difficult than colour photography. It is very easy to capture different colours but to get the right tones of grey in a subject is an art which requires expertise. Our eyes see things around us in colour and the concept here is to see these same objects minus the colour,” he explains.

“And in any case black and white photography prints have their own charm, they are classic and eternal, they remind us of the past, the bygone era,” he adds. The show is on view till December 20 at the Arpana Caur Academy of Fine Arts & Literature, 4/6 Siri Fort  Institutional Area.

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