CHENNAI: Arandom hashtag #ihaveathingfordoors led me to Aanchal Viswanathan Anand’s profile on Instagram which is a mini gallery of photos of doors of all kinds — rustic, antique, and painted with graffiti. Referred to as the Darwaaza series, every photograph has a door count and its location.
Aanchal is a student of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) at Pratt Institute in New York. “Five years back, I visited Sajjangarh fort in Udaipur for a dance retreat. When we went sight seeing, I was intrigued by the fort’s architecture. One particular door caught my attention. I captured it, uploaded on Instagram and people ‘liked’ it. Since then, everywhere I turned, I could see only doors,” says Aanchal.
The Darwaaza series soon became an extended project. Right now, the count stands at 96 photographs. “I have many questions when I look at a door — what’s behind the doors, who lived there, who made them, and how old are they? Doors can also be a metaphor for opportunities. Every city has different doors that reflect the culture of the place. I call it the Darwaaza series because I captured the first one at Udaipur. If I had seen one in Mylapore then the name would’ve been different,” she shares, adding that the Instagram community #ihaveathingfordoors inspires her.
Aanchal is selective about the photographs of the doors she shares on Instagram. Not all have attracted her. “It might sound crazy, but certain doors call me. It’s a gut feeling or an intuition. I stare at them for a few minutes and end up capturing them. My friends and relatives share pictures of doors from their trips. But I post only what I see,” she says.
Not just doors, mosaics, floor patterns, and ceilings too intrigue Aanchal. It has opened up her perspective to observe diversity in art and architecture around her. Scattered sights of urban, rustic, jaded and shuttered doors are not just mere glimpses, but sights that gladden Aanchal’s heart, who hopes to publish a coffee table book or a postcard series with her collections.