I began to take photographs as a teenager. Since then photography has been an ongoing hobby and source of inspiration for me. While studying in San Francisco, I avidly followed the art scene there and took many interesting workshops and courses in photography. I soaked in the information with a strong passion. However, due to work commitments and lack of time, I had to put aside my camera for a long time. It is only in the last two years that this hobby has taken me by storm once again.
The body of work you see here today is from this time period and is by and large abstract and non-mainstream. I believe my photographs reflect a stillness and silence. I believe that a photograph is a complete package. It is not just an image on paper. For example, in black and white photography the graphic appeal and contrast, proportion and placement of the image on paper and more, define the complete picture. This form of photography traces its days back to the San Francisco art scene in the mid nineties.
The CoalWorks journey began with an excursion to the rocks at Carter Road, Bandra. I would walk 200 feet out on the rocks at low tide. I spent many days in the hot sun on the rocks, taking pictures and recording sounds, with a Mini Disc recorder, of the ocean as it lapped in pockets among the rocks. I must have spent weeks out there, sometimes taking pictures and recording sounds and sometimes meditating. The upsurge of visual imagery before my eyes got me hooked again. This wasn’t the kind of imagery I was used to. This was different. It started a potent creative process. I began to swing my camera around objects in ways I hadn’t discovered before. There are many abstract photographs of everyday scenes and objects taken as I rediscovered the joy of photography. There are some photographs here of Mt. Mary Church in Bandra. I loved the stillness in the church in the afternoon sun with only a light breeze, especially with all the doors open. Some of these photographs were used by the Church for their centennial calendar in 2004. There are also some that were shot on campus in my time at the Indian School of Business. This was the birth of CoalWorks.
It is my hope that one day I can, in collaboration with other photographers, start an art, design and photography school of world standing. What we need in India is an influx of fresh ideas and new thinking. It is also my dream to one day journey to the Himalayas and take black and white photographs, along the lines of what Ansel Adams did with his Zone System photographs of the North American landscape. I believe all of us in India have a choice to participate in the planning and design of an India of the future. We cannot afford to let go of these opportunities before us. We can do this, each in our own way.