The old temple town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, well-known for its Camel Festival, is delight of any and every photographer. Most bring back pictures of the desert ship, folk dancers, the picturesque lake, the colourful stalls and awestruck tourists.
However, city’s own Vijay Ozo, whose exhibition of black and white photographs is mounted at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, captures moments alone with the doors and walls in the alleys of the town. Titled a la Ghalib as ‘Pushkar dar-o-deewar’, the show indeed is sheer poetry read in ageing lines on the faces of locked doors, the cracks on the walls and the plants making their home among shaky bricks, the shadow play of light and shade on ramparts and just a glimpse of the temple dome rising beyond an old wall.
It is also good to see Ozo’s evocative pictures in a solo show in the city held after 15 long years. Ozo has been one of the talented though quirky photographers of the city who has made a mark by picking out his themes and working on them with passion.
He has also stuck ‘stubbornly’ to black and white in a world that went colourful with vengeance. It is monochrome that gives the startling dramatic quality to the photographs and takes the flight from the physical to the abstract with ease.
The 49 works on display are a result of several years even though there are sets of some works that were clicked in a couple of minutes.
How did this uncanny date with the walls and doors of Pushkar happen? It has something to do with Ozo’s long tradition of snooping around and trying to look through the lenseye at what others may have passed unnoticed.
The photographer says: “For long, I have been going to the Camel Festival at Pushkar every year, because the sights and sounds of this quaint town fascinate me. However, one time, I reached late and the festival was over. So, I turned my attention on the walls and the doors clicking the stories that they told me and then I repeated this for some four to five years.” The results are there for all to feast their eyes on and enjoy the moments of meditative time that they impart.
The exhibition will be on view till January 11.