The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay - an interesting beginning to my summer in Bombay

After a long year in Boston, I found myself finally back in Bombay with 3 months ahead of me and my head bursting with ideas on how to spend all my free time. Among other things on my list, was - READ. And so I began with Agatha Christie’s “Cards on the Table”, a Hercule Poirot mystery, the detective I’d come to know and love over years of reading. It was only then that I began to ruminate on my obsession with western authors. I’d read books by the hundred set all the way from California to North Carolina to London. And so I picked up “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay”, not expecting much, just slightly proud of how Indian I was being reading a book by a man with a name as “desi”(local, Indian) as Siddharth Dhavant Shanghvi. It was about a photographer in Bombay, so I figured I may relate being as that was exactly me. 

And then I began reading. My first thought was “Why the flaming hell have I never done this before.”. And by this I mean, read a book so personally intertwined with all the places I’d grown up in. A book that not just portrayed the enigmatic Human Condition, but captured the essence of Bombay- how the air itself was somehow always buzzing with some kind of mysterious life. A book that made me fall even more in love with my own home. Sanghvi began my summer with uplifting early morning jogs on Juhu beach, heady afternoon adventures to Chor Bazaar, and deep evening conversations on Marine Drive. I discovered the joy of reading a book that was set in a place I knew like the back of my hand, and wondered if this was how someone from North Carolina felt when reading one of Nicholas Spark’s novels. Were they as intensely, deeply moved? Or was that a charm singular to the thronging city of Bombay?

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And so I look forward to 3 months filled with Indian authors, before I get back to Boston. Next in line? “Battle for Bittoria”, and “Those Pricey Thakur Girls” both by Anuja Chauhan. 

Arzaan Khambatta - Scrap Metal Sculptor

Over my summer, I spent a lot of time at the amazing artist Arzaan Khambatta’s workshop. I learnt how to weld, cut and conceptualise in terms of scrap metal. I found that as I walked around his studio, his work inspired me a lot as did the scraps of metal lying around waiting to be made into something beautiful.

Mr. Khambatta’s work is innovative and involves a lot of use of the human figure, emphasising the muscle structure. One piece that really got my attention was that of a large hybrid of dragonfly and scorpion and human. The body was made from a motorcycle body, and was engraved beautifully by the artist.

“I gravitate towards places where humans have been and are no more, to the edge of man’s influence, where the elements are taking over or covering man’s traces.”

Michael Kenna

Kenna photographs in black and white, and his subject matter consists mostly of landscapes. He has brought an unprecedented view to photography, a unique and completely unusual mystery. Known primarily for his long-exposure night photography, he enjoys the unpredictability of night photography. He sometimes photographs in such a way that night appears to be day, creating an eerie feeling. I wrote my IB Extended Essay on this intriguing photographer, and found that most of his work rings of loneliness, desolation, seclusion. He creates spacial cues with solitary objects in large spaces and is a stickler for minimalism.

Beverly Joubert

BEVERLY JOUBERT - one of my all time favourite wildlife photographers. Her film with her husband, Dereck Joubert, “Eye Of The Leopard” is one of the most beautiful pieces of cinematography in the wildlife sphere that I have seen. She does color photography as well, but these are a few of her black and white photographs that I am in love with. Her beautiful composition and use of movement is very intriguing, as well as her knack of capturing perfect moments of wildness

Aelita Andre : Child Prodigy

Aelita Andre, is 5 years old. And her paintings have sold for $24,000. What draws people to them? Is it knowing that she’s only 5 years old? Or is it the paintings themselves?

Photography is my passion. I feel that my photographs are insight into me, and my vision of the world. I love experimenting with composition, and I especially love nature and now portrait photography. My Flickr account has just a few of what I think are my best shots.

Visit my Flickr page to see!

“If I wanted to stay in the fine art field, I knew I had to join my contemporaries and make ‘contemporary’ art. I knew that it was time to let go of all the finely-tuned skills I had acquired over the years, and just trust in the process of making art. The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.”

PAIGE BRADLEY, SCULPTOR

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Lensbaby - At the Top of my Wish List

Terje Sorgjerd - a norwegian photographer - has created some truly amazing time-lapse films. They are certainly worth watching, and I myself have spent hours going over them. The magic of the night sky, with it’s beautiful colors and play of light is wonderfully captured in his film "The Mountain". His backing track of beautiful slow instrumental piano music adds to the overall feel of supernatural elements within the natural world.

dOCUMENTA (13) : Collapse and Recovery

This contemporary art exhibition was held in Kassel, Germany.

It was brimming with some of the most promising artists of the year, and a lot of amazing art work. One artist that stood out particularly for me, was Geoffrey Farmer with his piece “Leaves Of Grass”. He uses cut-outs from the magazine Life to portray the lifestyle, icons and culture from 1935 - 1985. It is a sculptural collage and rather interesting in structure. Anyone who knows me, knows of my obsession with all things Vintage - and this art piece is no exception. I love the black and white photographs incorporated into it, and the raw essence of the old days.

There were a few artists of Indian origin as well, one of whom was Nalini Malani - from “aamchi Mumbai” or our very own Bombay! Her peice displayed at dOCUMENTA (13) was “In Search of Vanished Blood”. It was truly captivating. It consisted of shadow play of animals by 5 rotating reverse painted Mylar cylinders. There is audio involved as well, a very emotional soundtrack of poignant music and a hard-hitting speech. Some aspects of it are truly horrifying, and the voice itself was enough to give me chills.