Discovering Rajasthan beyond deserts

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) When anybody mentions Rajasthan, what first comes to mind is a desert. In an attempt to dispel this, photographer Sudhir Kasliwal shows his love for the state by presenting distinctly dramatic and alluring shots of a Rajasthan beyond the desert sands.

A collection of 65 photographs that celebrate the light of Rajasthan and the visual elements will be put up at Bikaner House from April 10 to 17.

“Looking at his work in books or in his portfolio, one walks away from his art carrying the seductive innocence of faces loved and left behind, faces that bring us back to his beloved Rajasthan, its landscape and its walls with the patina of history,” states art historian Aman Nath in a foreword to the catalogue.

Kasliwal has travelled to the heart of the desert, recording the life and journeys of nomads, traced the remnants of forgotten trade routes and marvelled at the architectural brilliance of ancient edifices.

Consequently, this body of work is at once a visual archive and an examination of continuity and change in a way of life that remains outside the realm of iconography.

Thematically, many of these photographs remain distinctly dramatic and full of allure.

Crimson veiled odhinis shine through as much as sunburnt skin, women washing at a pond with water-pots, magnificent forts and temples are motifs of the visual culture that have been captured.

These images provide a breathtaking view of the stunning, limitless landscape – revealing the frailty of human enterprise to master nature.

But Kasliwal does not ignore the ingenuity of humans to survive the harsh terrain. His studies that blend building facades and individuals seep through in the haunts of history and candour.

The titles of his photographs too have a sense of deepened distinctions, while the show traverses both geography as well as architectural splendour.

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