The Aravallis are the oldest fold mountains in India, resulting from tectonic forces that were in play over three billion years ago. With the gradual progression of time, a series of complex elements eventually formed this mighty range as we know it today.
I am a child of the Aravallis. Born in Delhi University, I spent my childhood exploring the last spur of this range, the Northern Ridge. In the nineties I set up a farm in the heart of the Aravallis and built a house using only locally-accessed construction material. Eventually, I also settled in Gurugram on the fringes of the Aravallis' range. I have a deep connect to this ancient mountain range and it continues to be a significant part of my journey.
This bod of work is inspired by the elements of the Aravallis and combines my love for the region and my passion for photography. it is said art is derived from nature and nature has been a source of inspiration to many artists for centuries. After 37 years in the realm of advertising photography and with the advent of the digital age, I felt the need to go back to the physicality of image making. I enjoy living more in the world of touch and feel, something that perhaps comes from being born 'analog'
This body of work uses photographs from the Tattva series (Sanskrit for 'elements' or 'essence) which was an interpretation of four natural elements from the Aravallis, through some of the oldest photographic printing processes dating back to the 19th century.
This is also a story of origins demonstrated by deconstructing the pure essence of the Aravallis by virtue of the purest forms of printing processes in photography. It is also about explorations at different levels. While at one level this was about exploring the Aravallis through the digital lens, the second significant exploration took place in the dimly-lit darkrooms where images were interpreted and presented accordingly. Several thousand images of the Aravallis exist in the digital world, but this perhaps may be the first time that images have been interpreted based on the elements they are drawn from.
Each piece, in this project, has a little bit of the Aravallis in it. This is - 'Aravalli Deconstructed'
- Aditya Arya