Interlude Obscura

Interlude Obscura is an exhibition of the work of four Resident Artists and a Writer-in-Residence mentored by noted artist, art historian and critic Apurva Kulkarni at the AltLab Residency 3.0. The two-month long Residency is hosted by the Goa Center for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP) in conjunction with the Indian Foundation for the Arts (IFA).
The exhibition is a platform showcasing individual stories that the Resident Artists have worked on during the months of March and April (2013). These works areunique both thematically as well as aesthetically, having been developed using the following alternative techniques:

Van Dyke Brown Process (B. Ajay Sharma, Jharkhand)

Cyanotype Process (Nupur Nanal, Maharashtra):

Gum Bichromate Process (Urmimala Chatterjee, West Bengal)

Salt Print Process (Vivek Muthuramalingam, Karnataka)

Saee Haldule (Maharashtra): Writer-in-Residence

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Interlude Obscura

Interlude Obscura is an exhibition of the work of four Resident Artists and a Writer-in-Residence mentored by noted artist, art historian and critic Apurva Kulkarni at the AltLab Residency 3.0. The two-month long Residency is hosted by the Goa Center for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP) in conjunction with the Indian Foundation for the Arts (IFA).
The exhibition is a platform showcasing individual stories that the Resident Artists have worked on during the months of March and April (2013). These works areunique both thematically as well as aesthetically, having been developed using the following alternative techniques:

Van Dyke Brown Process (B. Ajay Sharma, Jharkhand)

Cyanotype Process (Nupur Nanal, Maharashtra):

Gum Bichromate Process (Urmimala Chatterjee, West Bengal)

Salt Print Process (Vivek Muthuramalingam, Karnataka)

Saee Haldule (Maharashtra): Writer-in-Residence

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Counting back.

It’s 3 in the afternoon and this part of Goa is seeping into a pleasant inertia. The cloudy sky may have deceived the dogs too as they wake up unaware stretching their bodies and rubbing them against the trees. The light filters through palm leaves, enters the studio and falls on all the prints laying on our wooden table. It highlights all the excitement to follow. Just about 10 days left for the exhibition and all of us are busy tying the knots of everything we did through the past couple of months. Hope to see all of you there. 26th April, Geetanjali art gallery Goa, 6.30 PM onwards.

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Ten days and counting…

The final fortnight is upon us and the flurry of the past weeks is beating up such a sandstorm in our little dustbowl here in Calangute that it’s hard to see any further than the 26th  of April. I have been very busy learning new techniques from the residents here – understanding basic things such as Adobe Photoshop to helping out with developing film roles and even trying my hand at making/ scanning/ printing negatives . Also, with four ace photographers around, I inadvertently end up being the subject of portraits or the guinea-pig to check lighting arrangements for other kinds of compositions to be shot. So all in all, days are full, time is flying by and I am absolutely dreading not being able to call this part of sunshine home anymore.
At present, I’m working on the final exhibition brief that I have been given by the Vintage Vagabond himself. I am to be Apurva’s partner in crime in hosting the exhibition this year – a host being needed because of the way the exhibition is designed. This time, it isn’t just going to be an exhibition of the works of art that my colleagues have developed during the period of this residency. It aims at being  more interactive with the audience. The why and the how is something that must be kept hush hush and hence I stop here.
Stay tuned to this space for further information regarding how this is going to progress – and in the meanwhile mark that all important April 26 on your calendars to come see us and our work at the Geetanjali Art Gallery (Opp.Panjim Inn,31st January Road, Fontainhas  Panjim, GA 403001) from 6:30 p.m. onwards.

Till my next post – good night and good luck, folks!

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PANJIM: CHARACTERS, CORNERS

The Hollywood Studio

I really long to write about lovely Panjim with its warm streets ambling along and its remains of photography here and there. I do not feel abled to write but I shall write, nonetheless.

I like Panjim with its little old corners, small tucked in places, old homes straddling up warm hills and the basin of warm shining water like I’ve opened out and held it in my arms.

Hollywood studio is one little corner of Panjim. One day, it felt like it evoked another time that has gone by for evermore.

Conversation is as warm as cups of tea – the nooks and corners of Hollywood studio open out to reveal Camera House in noisy, rumbling central Calcutta where conversation was as warm as cups of tea and there were dense spirals of cigarette smoke; then there was the darkroom on CIT Road, where we had long, long printing sessions in warm and hot afternoons and in evenings. There were conversations in between with cups of tea and long spirals of cigarette smoke. 

That time is no more – that time has gone by, travelled by to come to Panjim today. 

I like Panjim so much! I do not want to leave Goa.

 

 

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THE INTRICACIES OF GUM PRINTING

Impromptu: from my little journal:

April 03, 2013

“…in the morning today….made a solution of ammonium dichromate…

…two papers cut to size, double coated with gelatin and chrome alum, dipped in water, hung to dry.

Darkroom at 8:44 a.m.

Temperature: 28.0 (in Centigrade)

Humidity: 63%

 Two negatives, one of a portrait in Bicholim another of a portrait in Moira village.

First coat, Cobalt Blue and Raw Umber; three squeezes of Cobalt Blue with 2 ml of gum and 2 ml of ammonium dichromate.

First coating:

Temperature: 28.1

Humidity: 62%

 The first negative of the portrait in Bicholim was with exposure of five minutes. The second negative of the portrait in Moira too had the same exposure.

The second layer was of Raw Umber (more of it), Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black.

Temperature: 28.4

Humidity: 63%

Second coat exposure: 3 mins 50 seconds

The concentration is again of 2 ml of gum and 2 ml of dichromate.

The second coat of the Moira negative:

Temperature: 28.6

Humidity: 63%

Raw Umber, Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black

Exposure 3 mins 50 seconds

In the water for 10 minutes

For Moira, there was less paint (oops! A bit of paint spilt over) and could not cover the entire frame but the layer, after in water for 10 minutes, brought about an effect of painting with spare visible brushstrokes. It could covered up by the third layer and I feel I should’ve preserved the second layer…”

I’ve been plodding along with gum printing. I’ve been doing, undoing, taking down notes. There are jottings and sketches. Layers are made and layers collapse.

 Am perfectly at home in the garden; I see and feel the light, shadow, movement and stillness of the garden as I work out in the darkroom and study room. I notice the garden as I work. In being with gum bichromate, am also with the garden; one afternoon, all alone, I was still beneath a movement of sound as the wind blew and the trees moved. I was still and quiet as the garden heaved and resounded with sound. I carried on gum printing.

So, up till today:

“From no images to faint, barely there fuzzy images on paper mottled black with fungus, to a certain measure of picture clarity and a consistence in the emergence of images, picture clarity with an achievement of certain depth and detail in tone and with registration askew. Finer details need to be worked upon; the basics have been latched upon, very unexpectedly as also unexpectedly the movement towards colour. And, another of registration is being tried out that has given better results.”

 

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WHEN ARPANDA CAME TO GOA CAP

Arpan Mukherjee of Santiniketan, Bengal had come to Goa CAP last month – March 20 to the morning of March 25 2013.

I remember Arpanda’s visit distinctly; he opened up, like a book laid out, the process that is gum bichromate.

Arpan is a visual artist of a fine craftsmanship; there is texture and fibre to his knowledge and practice. The concept of gum printing was carried up notches higher with a concurrent conceptual clarity upon the creation and chemistry of colours.

Thank you Arpanda for coming to Goa CAP- for being a teacher – for putting me on to the path of gum printing.

Upon your departure, I’ve delved into the process of gum bichromate feeling the variables of the method simply because I’m struggling with my own hands and trying to put coherence and focus to my efforts which subsequently leads on to the next post titled – The Intricacies of Gum Printing.

 

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