Stills from the Stage
By Ayesha Singh
Published: 23rd Mar 2014 11:14:40 AM
Over the last four decades, Shobha Deepak Singh, director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, a cult cultural institution, has been an avid photographer. While her subjects range from clicking friends, dance, music etc., her cherished theme remains theatre.
Theatrescapes is a solo show of photographs captured and collected by Singh from the world of theatre, scheduled to take place at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, from March 26 to 31, wherein she showcases her work from the stage.
While it all started when she did a theatre direction course from Living Theatre in 1992, the afternoon of May 5, 1996, remains etched in her memory. ‘‘After four years at Living Theatre, I was pleasantly surprised to see my mentor, Ebrahim Alkazi, walking into my office. In his typical way, after a quick greeting, he, a man of few words, requested me for my contact sheets of the photographs of Living Theatre since 1992. He sat down and wrote at the back of the sheets the number and size of the photos he had selected. A few days later, he came to my office again, with a bunch of envelopes (with cards inside) and handed them to me. I was delighted to learn that my first major exhibition was going to be curated by this doyen of Indian theatre and would take place at the Shridharani Art Gallery in 1996. Little did I know that it would be my first step towards an escalation journey of my love for photography. The first play I captured was Viraasat in 1992 and it was staged at LTG Auditorium,’’ she says.
Singh, who is self-taught, is very spontaneous when it comes to photography. The process of intuitively seeing and then capturing images has been zealously satisfying, she tells us. ‘‘In the ancient Indian texts, they speak of a sacred inner eye. Maybe this is what they meant about intuition,’’ she says.
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