Photos spill out of frames, into poetry

Exhibition by Philip John and Bernadette Lobo combine both arts

Published: 10th August 2016 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2016 03:56 AM   |  A+A-


BENGALURU: The photographs clicked by her transport you into another world and his poems guide you through it.

With a concept they call ‘Photo-Poems’, Philip John and his wife Bernadette Lobo make sure every visitor gathers a story.

PhotosA.jpgIn one photograph, we see a woman dismounting from her cycle who Philip imagines as an “impatient lover”. His poem titled The Course of Love observes her hurry to respond to her lover’s text message and goes on to say that new lovers ask “piquant” questions but old lovers ask “sane but vital” ones. The poet writes: The course of love can be traced/From the curiosity of our questions.

Next to this photograph is a woman waiting for her lover’s message and the poem tells us how the moving traffic then grabs her attention. It goes: “Why haven’t you messaged?”/She types, then sees the river of humanity/ In the street, how it moves on and on,/Oblivious to whether he loves her or not.”

Bernadette’s photo captures a dog drinking water from a pond and Philip narrates a poem on how the Dutch like taking their dog along wherever they go.

The couple showcased their work for the first time recently at Rangoli Art Centre. It featured work from their two-week-long vacation at Paris and Amsterdam.

While Bernadette took up photography seriously only recently, Philip has been writing poems and stories on his Facebook page Labyrinths for two years. Their new concept is a way to combine their skills.

About 5,500 people follow his poems that he posts every day.

“We went on our vacation with the thought of capturing history of the places but what attracted us was the way people led their lives there,” he says adding, “It is similar to how we live in our country.”

Pointing at a picture of the kitchen of the place where they lived, he says that it looks so like an Indian kitchen. They have captured candid pictures of street performers and others they met.

Poems draw from the couple’s travels. “Those are inspired by what we heard or saw while living in those places,” says Bernadette.

While at the exhibition, people found their work refreshing – new and different. “Anand Sharan, who is a well-known photographer from the city, called it intuitive and fresh,” says the photographer proudly.

The photo-poems are retailed at `1,000-2,500 depending on their size. They can also be seen on Philip’s Facebook page. If you want to buy them online, you can do it from August end, when the couple will launch their website.

Regarding their next project, Philip says, “We have planned to capture the urban life of Bengaluru and we will explore the invisible side of the city.”

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