An exhibition titled ‘What the Heart Wants’ featuring the work of photographer Mihika Row was showcased on December 21 and 22, at The Studio, Balaji Layout.
The collection features evocative images that are an interpretation of a poem ‘Heart’ written by her. “The poem was actually the result of feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a particular situation; it left me feeling like I had no control over anything. I felt very alone,” shares Row. The poem that was written as a way to express a dark and melancholic time in her life opened new doors for Row.
“My style of photography is very conceptual and interpretative. It is very idea-driven,” she explains. ‘What the Heart Wants’ was born out of an idea of collaborating with dancers that she connected with on an artistic and creative level. She partnered with Rick, a contemporary dancer; Masoom, a Bharatanatyam dancer and Dayita, a ballet dancer for this. “I specifically chose these forms of dance because of how they connected, narrated and interpreted the emotions,” she shares.
Row, born in 1994, had to deal with delayed motor milestones and was diagnosed with epilepsy, and learning difficulties at the age of two. “Dealing with this, taught me many things about myself. I have needed more help to be able to do many things, but I never let it hold me back. It is a part of my life, but I don’t let it define me,” she says.
At the age of six, her father gave her a film camera. With this began her career as a photographer. “My father always pushed and encouraged me; he believed in my talent even when I didn’t,” she says.
After completing her schooling, she joined the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in 2013. It was here that she realised that she wished to pursue photography full-time. She says that her medical disadvantages have not in any way hampered her journey as a photographer. “Having epilepsy has, if anything, made me more creative. I am determined to prove that I have limitless potential and that if I put my mind to something, I am unstoppable,” she shares.
Through this collection, she hopes to convey the importance of having and acknowledging different perspectives and to remind people that there is beauty in being different. At the moment, she is working towards including more dance forms and perspectives to her series.