Prarthana Krishnamurthy finds that photography is a subtractive art

Whether it’s filtering through the stained glass windows at the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona or a corridor in Angkor Wat, the play of light never fails to inspire Prarthana Krishnamurthy, whose debut solo exhibition “Breathing Light” is on view at Atta Galatta.

“I have always been fascinated by the interplay of light, line and shadow and through my travels I have tried to capture this. That’s how the exhibition was born,” says Prarthana.

The exhibition features photographs that Prarthana has captured from her travels across the world in Switzerland, Cambodia, Nepal, Spain, Austria, and parts of India including Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Lucknow.

For instance, she captures a man making cheese in a dark, shadowy room in Switzerland or a “Young skater” in mid-jump in Spain. “I have seen the dynamic ways in which light affects what we see and the way it impacts surroundings.”

This interplay of light and shadow is also evident in her other works: “Breathing Light”, where she captures a corridor of arches and in some of the photographs of the Himalayas, such as “Snowy Sentinel” which shows trekkers returning from the Everest Base Camp.

At the same time she does not restrict herself to a particular theme.“I felt solitude in the Dal Lake and the vastness of the Himalayas. And I have captured both static moments as well as dynamic moments. I try to capture moments that move me, touch me… that I want to hold together. And through my photographs, I get to hold them together more strongly than I can in my memory.”

Sometimes her works, specifically the landscapes in the Dal Lake like “Quiet Reflections” of the chinar moored on a little islet on the lake, take on the beauty of a painting. She pays close attention to the prints of her photographs, even printing of canvas, effectively contributing to the impact of the photograph.

“I feel that the photograph hasn’t really been captured until it takes shape on the medium. But I don’t think about the medium while I’m shooting. It’s like how people express their emotions, but think about the words before expressing. These are my words.” Photography is more intuitive than intellectual for Prarthana. “For me, it’s not being good or bad, it’s about expression. I just want to tell the world what I saw.” At the same time, she hopes to garner more support for photography as an art form in itself.

“People don’t really take photography as a serious art form maybe because they think everybody can take a picture. While painting starts off with a blank canvas, photography is a subtractive art, which takes from the surroundings. I’d like people to put up photographs on their walls, just as easily as they put up paintings.”

“Breathing Light” will be on view until December 16 at Atta Galatta, 75, 2 main, 1 block, Koramangala. For details, contact 30181626 or 9632510126.