The concept, ‘Concealment – Looking at idols through minimum spaces’, captures the essence of idol making in the run up to Durga Puja festival in New Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park locality through an interplay of shadows, dark areas primarily shot through tight spaces and objects. The idea was conceived when I minutely observed over a period of 4 weeks the ritual of idol making by Kolkata’s finest artisans, most of whom leave their studies at an early age to pursue their family business or vocation. The brief snatches of visuals I could see from small spaces also created a sense of ‘struggle’ to capture that particular scene.
The concept appealed to me much more than symmetrical, simple portrayal of Durga because when you see these idols through obstructive spaces like little holes in fabric, gaps in walls, from under the veil, mystery is created almost instantly. It made me jump with excitement of having to imagine that ‘It’s illegal to take these shots’, or ‘I am intruding into someone’s property’. This was not the case, but the thought process hit the nail on the head and coalesced asymmetry, art, matter and mystery into a persuasive tectonic expression.