A flight of stairs in Florence, a crevice in the rock-cut architecture in Jordan’s Petra, the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, or one of the many monuments in Hyderabad — the milieu for Nandini Thirani Mehta’s photographs can be plotted across the globe. In the show titled “Udaan”, a photography-meets-art series, Mehta plays around with perspective as closed, dark spaces give way to light in her frames. She’s painted birds in flight on these sepia-tinted and black-and-white frames, hence explaining the title of the show.
The Mumbai-based artist says, “I was never a person who could travel alone and meet new people, but once I attempted it, it’s been a beautiful journey. Exploring new cultures and meeting new people not only changes you as an artist, but also as a person. The birds I’ve painted on the photographs are symbolic of the freedom I’ve experienced.”
Painted with red, blue and yellow acrylics, these birds are shown flying across ruins, water bodies and architectural marvels across Cambodia, Italy, Spain and Jordan, besides India. “I hadn’t really planned on this series, but when people saw a camera in my hand, they automatically came up to me and asked if I was a photographer. The series is a result of the sense of liberation I experienced while interacting with people of other cultures,” says Mehta. Serving as a bridge between photography and art, 20 of these frames are on display in Delhi, after a well-received show in Mumbai.
“Udaan” is on display at Cafe Turtle, GK 1, till July 11.