Abstract photographic symphony

by Shilpa Raina
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Sunlight is coming from an opening. This could probably be a window or a balcony of a restaurant or a café. In focus are a handbag, a water bottle and a hand holding an empty glass. The sunlight explodes like a volcano in this monochromatic photography, lending a symphony to this surreal composition. The beauty of this image is the familiarity of the surroundings, yet a sense of mystery envelops every subject present in this frame. This is just one of the many frames that will be on display at an upcoming exhibition, ParulScape, at Bikaner House from July 28th to 30. In her debut show, photographer Parul Sharma undertakes viewers on an abstract journey of geometry, design and form.

A corporate professional, Parul started clicking random photographs almost five years ago. It was an innocent exercise that we usually engage in during our everyday commutes and travels. Initially, she would capture the sight of the street, what she refers as ‘street photography’. Since she was already on a joy-ride in her professional career, she labeled this craft of hers in her life as a “hobby”. But when the curator of the show, Swapan Seth, an advertising guru, looked at her photographs, he suggested that she should take her craft seriously.

This is how the idea of having an exhibition crossed her mind and she rummaged through her unlimited pictures to choose the best of 40 frames that resonate her state of mind and attitude towards life. “I like the rawness of monochrome. There is a kind of natural beauty to this combination. Also, I feel life is largely black and white,” she says.
Elaborating on choosing the abstract mode of photography, she adds, “I am not trying to make a point through these photographs. Abstract forms lend a certain amount of mystery to these frames. Also, this form makes these photographs open to interpretation. The aim is to allow the thought to connect with your subconscious.”

The play of light and shadow adds a lyrical feel to her images; she has sought sudden poetry and in the stillness of spaces and shadows and in the geometry of structures and objects. According to her, one of the reasons why these aspects come out so well in her photographs is because she firmly believes that people generally look, but don’t see. The art of seeing lends a different aesthetic eye to a viewer’s gaze, making him dig deeper into the realms of the subconscious.
Only two months ago she decided to bid adieu to her successful corporate career and the 44-year-old restarted her career as a full-time artist. This decision, she admits, did undergo the scrutiny of self-doubt, initially. “Mostly,” she points out, “because peers around me would thrust their insecurities on me. People try to make you vulnerable.”
“But then I firmly believe that if you follow your heart, you will never go wrong. So, I decided to go by my inner calling. And, I have to admit that the kind of emotions I am going through right now is intense and fulfilling. This is something I haven’t experienced before. I am a struggling artist right now,” she concludes.

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