There was a long hiatus after our last “Glimpses of Nature” exhibition in 2013 in Thane. All of us were busy with work and couldn’t devote the time anymore for more exhibitions. Each exhibition took on average about 2 months to plan, prepare and execute. We went through multiple prints, trial prints, corrections, gathering of information, talking to guest exhibitors, etc. We simply weren’t able to devote so much time anymore. However, my school art teacher, mr Sadashiv Kulkarni, was after me to hold more exhibitions and we had even scouted out a few places in thane, but i wasn’t feeling it and mentioned it to sir. I said, it has to be something momentous to get me out of my self imposed hibernation. Before i knew it, he had secured me a spot in one of the most prestigious art galleries in Mumbai… the famous Jehangir Art Gallery.
I knew right then that this exhibition and the approach had to be different. Whereas the “Glimpses” series of exhibitions were more as a way to spread awareness about nature, this one was a solo exhibition, to showcase my work. I decided to go with a smaller number (28) of large (24-36 inch) frames which were more artsy or different in feel and character. There was even one stitched image which was almost 8 feet long. I also decided to print it on hahnemuhle paper and canvas for added texture and feel.
However, obviously we couldn’t let go of our “education” DNA so I printed life size images of some african animals like Giraffe (it was 14ft tall), African Elephant (10 feet tall) and so on.
Visitors had a gala time taking selfies in front of these life sized animals and birds. I think it was quite educational. When we see images or wildlife programs on tv, we don’t actually grasp the real scale of these beauties.
We had a good number of visitors and the gallery staff remarked that its unusual to have such a large crowd for a photography exhibition. This exhibition was a validation of sorts for me. We were graced by some real stalwarts in the field. I well remember the visit by the technical editor of one of the top photography magazines in India. This gentleman is obviously and expert and very knowledgeable but he is notorious for being outspoken and blasting people for in-accuracies or shortcomings. So when he came to see the exhibition, i was petrified. I tried to tag along with him but he shooed me away. After examining each and every photo in detail, he had a minor query about only one image. After i answered his query, i asked him to give further guidance about where i have messed up. He looked me in the eye and said “young man, i have no comments for you, everything is perfect” .. WOW, that really made my day and i guess to an extent has validated all the effort i have put in developing my art in the last few years.
There were other notable visitors including from a photography school who invited me as a guest lecturer and the owner of one of the largest stock photo sites, who invited me to share images on his site. Unfortunately, photography is my passion not profession so i wasn’t able to followup on these opportunities.
Still, it was a wonderful and memorable experience. The only problem is that i am at a loss of what to do after this.
The photos in this exhibition were later put up in a gallery in USA.