I felt I needed a dose of creativity since arriving back in Mumbai after Christmas. In London I went to a Turner exhibition at the Tate Gallery and a lovely Christmas Concert at St Martin in the fields (all in the same day). It reminded me that I love doing that sort of stuff. I feel bathed in the creative genius of others and it inspires me to go and do/make something myself. I’d booked a basic sewing class before Christmas which I’ve just finished. It really was a basic course, I didn’t actually ‘make’ anything apart from lots of samplers of different kinds of finishes…but that’s fine. I did learn a lot and even had a go at faggoting! (Look it up yourselves!)
But I wanted to go and SEE something. I’ve already been to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. It’s a beautiful building and the visit was going swimmingly and then I walked into the Natural History section which is basically several rooms full of taxidermied animals including a rhino, a tiger and lots of dusty faded birds in glass cases. Even in the land of Darjeeling this is not my cup of tea.
So I went to a photography exhibition a few weeks ago at the Jehangir Art Gallery downtown. It was only on for a few days and I had to go on the last day….BIG mistake.
The photographer was Uddhav Thackeray. He’s a politician; the head of the Shiva Sena party. The exhibition attracted a lot of attention, political visitors, VIP’s, just generally lots of people. It was not the calming, reflective experience I was hoping for…
There was security lining the steps to the entrance, there were tv vans outside the building and general mayhem inside the gallery.
I can’t comment on the photographs…I couldn’t really appreciate them. We were moved along so quickly it was like being at airport security (actually I wish airport security moved that fast!) I couldn’t see the logic in the way the photographs had been curated and none of them had a little blurb to put the piece into context…
I didn’t stay long.
I went for a wander round the building and found the Terrace Art Gallery for Photography and Visual Arts. There was a small exhibition by an Indian couple; Pavan and Rita Gupta, of photographs they’d taken on a trip to Rajasthan. A completely different affair!
Super photos of the Pushkar Mela; the annual camel fair, photos of the longest moustache and beard competitions and also photos of other areas in Rajasthan. Pavan and Rita were there to answer questions and were a pleasure to talk to. They are retired but they continue to photograph, exhibit and travel because they love it!
So after all the chaos downstairs, upstairs was a true oasis of calm, culture and general loveliness.
If you’re interested, here is the link to the Gupta’s website
As for the other chap, you are more than welcome to look him up too…..