As a young boy, Amrish Vaidya often spent his weekends admiring his aunt’s vast collection of paintings and curios. With its colourful and idyllic works on display, Jehangir Art Gallery also beckoned him. But life changed after he enrolled in a medical school. The hospital quarters became his home for six years.
The frenetic hours hardly gave him any opportunity to visit an art gallery. Gradually he started finding beauty in the most unlikely places. A corner of a wall, paint peeling, part burnt from a wood fire lit under it, looked like a composition. He imagined these painted on a canvas, hung in his virtual gallery. This wishful thinking inspired him to click photographs over the years. The paediatric surgeon now displays 28 pcitures that he has clicked over the course of a decade in his first solo exhibition, Frames of Reference.
He says, “I have been taking photographs since my college days. But my stint at medical school changed my perspective about beauty and imagery. My wife is an architect. I would often go on site visits with her. Gradually the nature of my photography changed and I started finding beauty in places and structures beaten by time and weather.”
The surgeon, who has been practising since two decades, also admits that having witnessed life at its grittiest as a doctor, his gaze is naturally veered towards things that are devoid of any gloss or veneer. Thus, it is in the forgotten alleyways, old walls, damaged tin doors that he sees the real stories. Bare bricks, peeling paint and blackened portions serve as evidences of ravages by time and man, and Vaidya captures these unlikely surfaces in his camera. His repertoire of work is a visual diary where he presents cities at their rawest. “A few years ago, when I visited Paris, I did not want to photograph life along the boulevards or the banks of the Seine. It was in the black walls of the back streets in the grit and the grime, that I saw the truth and the beauty of the city, where the real stories were revealed. These pictures make my travelogue and are far more exciting to me than capturing any monuments,” he concludes.
WHEN: August 23 to September 7, 10 am-6 pm
WHERE: Sakshi Gallery, 11-A, ground floor, Tanna House, Nathalal Parekh Road, Colaba