Pandemic Lockdowns form the theme of the World Photography Day 2021

photographers of the city

The World Photography Day is here and our city is not lagging behind in celebrating it. A reasonably gathered show is here that was started at the Open Gallery in Amdavad ni Gufa premises on Wednesday by designer-artist Surendra Patel and amateur veteran of photography Mukesh J Thakkar in the presence of artist Manhar Kapadia. Artist Jagdishchandra Patel ably conducted the proceedings of the inaugural ceremony.

As many of us may know “The World Photography Day” is celebrated on August 19 every year to commemorate the declaration of the Daguerreotype photographic process as copyright-free for its wider usage by public hobbyists and others by the French Academy of Sciences in 1839. The history of photography although goes further back to 1816 when a portrait photo of Napoleon was taken at St Helena on a paper treated with silver chloride by another Frenchman called Niepce, but it could not be preserved. The word photography was coined later by a British scientist John Hershel based on Greek words meaning ‘drawing with light’ on a surface!

While the theme of The World Photography Day 2021 has been related to the ongoing Pandemic, we would have to wait and see if and how much practicing people and well-heeled photo artists would prefer to recall and relate with this theme in the coming week or so, beginning Thursday when the observance of the Day begins.

Coming back to our own celebration, the display of varied photography to aptly mark the occasion comes in the form of a group show by four photographers of the city who have been consistent in their pursuit either in professional or in amateur artistic channels. The show features four large photographs each on two panels by Vraj Mistry, Vinay Pandya, Nirav Patel and Pragnesh.

The works by senior most photographer of all Vraj Mistry – who is known to travel far and wide to create his body of work and also for his help and guidance to upcoming photographers – feature the folk dances of Rajasthan, scenic beauty of Rajasthan and Kashmir with the camel in desert and Shikara boat in Dal Lake forming the most identifiable icons of these works.

The co-ordinator at Amdavad ni Gufa who is known and lauded for his friendliness with artists who come for shows, a reviewer himself for Gujarati newspapers and a photographer by temperament, Vinay Pandya has showcased some exquisite views of heritage monuments and temples from the Polo Forest area of Gujarat. Nirav the third participant has shown striking portraits of old people wrinkled in rich experiences of life; he is also showing some applied art photos of still life in sundry objects.

Pragnesh’s four works capture the very popular social and cultural traditions of Katchchh in Gujarat.

All the works featured by these photo artists are identically blown up prints sans the decorative frames which trait was aptly explained by Thakkar in his remarks for the occasion “as showing the art in its raw form has its own appeal over art that comes covered or ‘concealed’ under embellishment of frames”. Thakkar also took the occasion to highlight the innate objective of practicing and showing art as the bringing out of the “finer traits of individuals for the larger good of the collective.”

Since Mobile phone cameras have turned each one of us into photographers of some worth and relevance in our respective domains and areas of influence, this show is for everyone to see and appreciate how photography has revolutionized expression of ideas, thoughts, events and memories with dozens of categories, classes and numerous possibilities!

The show is on till August 22.

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