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Updated: June 29, 2012 20:37 IST

Paths to the beyond

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Representation of the unknown like the ever after
Representation of the unknown like the ever after

Ichha Bhojani applies certain ideas of the Baha’i faith to emphasise on the need to balance material and spiritual life

Though Ichha Bhojani, artist and consultant and a practitioner of the Baha’i faith, has been photographing doors, windows and passages for over seven years, she never realised that one day she would be using them for her first exhibition, “Ever After”.

The exhibition, which is currently on its second show at Kynkyny, features mixed-media works: collages, drawings and prints. The works are an expression of the Baha’i principle that talks about the journey of the soul after death.

In her photo collages, Ichha juxtaposes images of stairways, arches, doors, windows or passages, creating a context that expresses the principle in so many different ways. For instance, an old blue door could open to a staircase, a boat could be sailing beneath giant steps, shadowy passages could open into a brilliant daylight, or doors could open to streams.

“The doors, windows, passages and stairways are a representation of the unknown like the ever after,” explains Ichha. “I was inspired by one of the Baha’i quotes about the progress of the soul and detachment. In our faith, we believe that the soul continues to progress though the worlds of God after death and it is important to serve humankind and the world in order to nurture it.”

In this body of work, Ichha also dapples with prints, using them as colourful backgrounds for floral motifs with “watery” lines as their roots. Over the background, she draws human figures and again pastes her architectural photographs.

Here too she emphasises the need to balance material and spiritual life through the roots representing a firm foundation in material life and the flowers reaching up to the higher spiritual realms.

“As humans, we have both material and spiritual aspects. How much ever material success is there, unless the spiritual side is satiated, there will always be some discontent. I would like to ask how would you live your life if you knew that the physical body was merely a vehicle for a spirit with a much higher purpose?”

The images, Ichha says, are a result of a spontaneous and intuitive creative process. And Ichha observes that there is no closure in the images, they seem to draw the viewer into something endless. The doors, windows or arches always open into something that she captures in a larger-than-life way through her camera.

These photographs have been taken from her collection of photographs of architecture around the world including places like Zanzibar, Israel (Haifa), Kerela and London, where she studied fine art printmaking.

“Ever After” will be on view until July 6 at Kynkyny Art, 104, Embassy Square, above Ganjam Jewellers, 148 Infantry road. For details, call 40926206.

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