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Tuesday, Apr 13, 2004

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Light and shade

Photographer Sathiaseelan's works are an attempt to draw our attention to the plight of the aged


IN A busy world such as ours, where there are barely any moments when we get to look beyond ourselves, it is indeed heartening to see that some people still care enough to try and make a change. Taking the initiative to share his time and talent for something very close to his heart, photographer and cinematographer Sathiaseelan is committed to caring for our senior citizens and India's artistic tradition. His exhibition of photographs `Sculptures and Senior Citizens: Protect Them for Life' at the Lalit Kala Akademi is an attempt at visualising the effects of time on things of great value and recognising that their deterioration is a cause for concern.

Having spent his early years in Kumbakonam, a town renowned for the richness of its temple architecture, Sathiaseelan sees the temple as a sanctuary away from the commotion of modern day living. In his visualisations, the heavy shadows afforded by muted lighting within the consecrated interior create warmth as seen in the cold blackness of the tranquil stone nandi that is touched gently by the sunshine that filters in.

The use of light and shadow in every photographic frame works from his concept of portraying the idea of bringing areas of darkness to light.


The poignant images of older people, usually from rural backgrounds, are set against the background of our neglected heritage. Focussing on temples in the interior villages of Tamil Nadu he has found plentiful subjects that articulate our inattention as seen in the denuded sculptures, dilapidated gopurams and crumbling walls held together by the roots of wild plants.

Organised as a maiden project by `Nijam - A Cause for Concern,' an organisation that works towards fostering better lives for the elderly, the proceeds from this exhibition will go to `Kaakum Karangal,' an old age home in Chennai. The show is on till April 17 at Lalit Kala Akademi, Greams Road.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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