Rebuilding the past in photo frames | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rebuilding the past in photo frames

In her first solo showcase as an artist, Shilpa Suchak has defied an implicit norm. While most artists remain non-committal about their own stories informing their artwork, Suchak immediately lays claim to the personal as directing her first unique project, writes Purva Mehra.

mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2009 01:25 IST
Purva Mehra

In her first solo showcase as an artist, Shilpa Suchak has defied an implicit norm. While most artists remain non-committal about their own stories informing their artwork, Suchak immediately lays claim to the personal as directing her first unique project.

She works on photo collages through which she attempts to reconstruct her past. Suchak lost her father and brother a few years ago. Untitled Experiences germinated from a desire to explore her relationship with her mother, her only surviving relative, through art.

“I realised I was looking for my dad and brother through mum. My relationship with her, the way it is today was occasioned by their absence. I started gathering old photographs, letters and other stuff belonging to both of them,” said the 31-year-old.

Though presented in the photographic medium (2D photo frame format), Suchak’s canvas challenges this form and includes other elements like paper, thread and fabric. The first half of her 26-piece collection has been shot with a large format (the original Polaroid), the preferred tool of distinguished photographer Ansel Adams. The rest are in a smaller more intimate format. “One photograph in this exhibition features all four of us. It wasn’t intentional but I suppose it ties my family back together in the present,” said the student of fine art photography.

To her, the exhibition is as much about form as it is about emotions. It’s a body of work her mother still has to come to terms with. “It’s still hard for her,” Suchak said.