“Bangalore – Picturesque” has attracted large numbers of the city’s denizens

Tree-lined avenues, wide roads devoid of motorised vehicles and people in traditional clothes make up the nostalgic ingredients in sepia-tinted photographs of Bangalore from a bygone era that are currently on display at the city’s Rangoli-Metro Art Centre here.

The exhibition, titled “Bangalore – Picturesque”, is on display at the centre’s Vismaya Gallery and has been drawing large numbers of the city’s denizens , including schoolchildren.

Mahalakshmi C.S., who works in Mayo Hall, exclaimed that she was sad that the city had transformed so much over the years. “The city’s leisurely lifestyle has long gone. Unfortunately, with ‘development’, we seem to have forgotten our roots,” she said. Visitors V. Vani and B. Rukmini Bai agreed and said through the photographs, they learnt about the city’s distinct colonial heritage.

Collaborative work

According to a press release, the exhibition is a collaborative work put together by Surekha, curator of the Rangoli-Metro Art Centre, and members of the Facebook group, Bangalore – Photos from a Bygone Age. “It is the first in this series and we hope to develop in scope and imagination through continued contributions to the archive.” The images are markers of time, a visual narrative that evokes nostalgia and nurtures conversations about the past, it read.

Visual archive

Ms. Surekha said that most photographs were taken between 1900 and 1940s. They are a visual archive of the city that had both a strong local identity and a distinct colonial heritage, which co-existed. The exhibition has three different sections – people, places and practices. “Many photographs have been sources from private collections and are thus being displayed in public for the first time,” she said, added that while highlighting the city’s heritage, it also underscores the need for archiving city history.

As part of the ongoing dialogue, a panel discussion on “Finding the past in the present” with chroniclers of city history will be held on November 10 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Rangastala, Rangoli Metro Art Centre on M.G. Road.

Meanwhile, citizens may also contribute images to the archive. They may also contribute stories and their experience of the city to “Memoryscapes” wall at the venue. For more details, contact: The Rangoli-Metro Art Centre on 22969265 or send an email to rangoli@bmrc.co.in. The exhibition is open to public between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on all days except Tuesday, till November 15.

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