Art to the rescue: Focussing the lens on Covid relief work
An artwork is often a window to an artist’s creative world, but amid a pandemic, these very artworks can turn into a source of strength and support for those in need. This idea has inspired Forever Delhi, an online fundraising exhibition of a series of black and white photographs by Shalini Passi.
The artist says that the photos were originally clicked by her, for personal gratification. “During the later half of 2020, when the roads would be devoid of its hustle bustle, I would step out with my camera and take photos of different architectural structures around the Capital. The absence of people makes the city seem unfamiliar and eerie, and is in semblance to the circumstances around us. And when the second wave hit the city, even though I was helping others in my personal capacity, I decided to organise this exhibition to raise additional funds to support different organisations,” she says.
The 90 photographs in this series are divided in two categories — Delhi’s Heritage Architecture and Contemporary Architecture. These include some of the iconic spots in the Capital such as the facade of the Cottage Emporium at Janpath, the colonnade of inner Connaught Place, and the sculpture depicting Dandi March at Mother Teresa Crescent. “I was born and brought up in Delhi and was always in awe of its architectural brilliance, so much so that I wanted to be an architect,” says Passi when asked why did she choose architecture as her subject, and adds: “Just as we are influenced by a photograph’s angle, how we perceive a place is very much influenced by its architecture. I decided to keep the images monochromatic for I believe black and white highlight the architectural elements, which are often lost in the chaos of colours.”
The photographs are available for ₹10,000 each, but those who wish to donate more, can pay a higher amount. Passi says, “The proceeds from this virtual exhibition will be donated to the NGOs, Goonj and Meherban India Foundation, who are facilitating ground relief work amid the second wave of the pandemic. As an artist, nothing will bring me greater pleasure than to be of aid to others.”
Catch It Live
What: Forever Delhi
On till: July 15
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika