A photo exhibition by
Lisbeth & Ashwin
April 15 – April 29

You’ve driven through it hundreds of times, knowing it was there and not there at the same time…… Busy and in a hurry to get to Pondicherry, when did you last stop on the way in the small town of Multhiapet? To look, to interact and to be?

Lisbeth, an Aurovilian since 1971, and Ashwin, one of her former students who now teaches photography, maths and sciences in Last School, decided to be tourists in Multhiapet and, over five visits, interacted with street vendors, homeless children, office workers, autorickshaw drivers, the priest of a church, the lady caretaker of the Christian cemetery, and more. They also took photographs of all kinds of houses, street signs, wandering cows and dogs, gates and churches – a great range of demonstrative pictures of everyday life in India.

The exhibition is very well displayed with single, diptych, triptych photographs and even a collage, all associated with themes, colours or shapes.

They capture the atmosphere of this little treasure of a small of town, its beauty and decay, its joy, and mostly its peacefulness, which, considering its location on the busy ECR at the outskirts of Pondicherry, is a complete surprise.

A black and white photograph of smiling, playing children; a diptych of the dawn of day with a very subtle composition of a roof, sky and what could be a homeless person; a juxtaposition of cows in a busy street, one in black and white, the other one in colour; the entrances of what look like stores – I loved the subtle curating and the association of ideas. It is everyday India in its simplicity and the wealth of its beauty and diversity in 30 pictures displayed in an exhibition which will surprise you, if only because you will find yourself noticing things that you already saw a hundred times and never truly noticed.

This is the beauty and magic of photography… a kind of meditative art that captures the moment that the mind, always too busy with “the what’s after”, never takes the time to do.

My favourite picture remains the backs of two women, one wearing a green sari and the other a red one. You do not see their faces, but they probably look impatient as they wait for a store to open. In the middle are beautiful yellow and red juicy fruits ready to be sold. The frame is astute, filled with elegant shapes, colours, actions and smells, all in the subtle way that makes a photograph attractive, interesting and pleasant to the sight and the mind.

You might never stop in Muthialpet on your way to Pondicherry. But it does not matter. It is all there in Pitanga until the end of April!

By Chana Corinne Devor for AVArtService