Zahra Amiruddin’s ongoing photography exhibition A Summer Slumber reflects a deep sense of coll
Growing up, for most of us, summer was synonymous with lazy, extended vacation days and vacations. But as the years pass, we leave behind those carefree days. This ongoing photographic exhibition A Summer Slumber by Zahra Amiruddin at Method in Mumbai is a refreshing reminder of our childhood from an adult perspective. Portraying self-reflection and growth through her lens, Zahra’s work revolves around the theme of collective consciousness. The 23 different photographs are synchronized in this art café on the outskirts of the city. We find ourselves traveling between past and present, and resonating with the changing memories of the artist through images.
“I wanted to bring back that summer nostalgia. There are so many memories and as we grow up everything that we experienced as children is gone. When I was asked for this show, I went through my archives and selected images that resonated with my feelings about summer,” says Zahra, who is an alumnus of Sophia College, Mumbai and started her career when she did her first photography assignment in college. “It gave me a sense of liberation when I saw the world through a viewfinder. I felt invisible but very present at the same time. That’s the beauty of the camera,” shares the 30-something.
Although Zahra is known for her black and white photographs (her instagram profile reflects his love for monochromes), A summer sleepr is a combination of color and black and white images. There is a kind of romanticism in Zahra’s creation and the photographs depict various emotions such as emptiness, loneliness, introspection, confusion, lack of time, and much more.
For example, the black and white photograph of a soap-covered hand metaphorically reflects restlessness and isolation. A mundane act of washing hands seems unsettling. “It’s a reflection of my feeling of instability. I created this work during the pandemic and isolation period,” explains the artist, who generally prefers to photograph in natural spaces. “But the lockdown locked us all in. It was hard to find something at that time, so I started creating my work from mundane things,” she adds.
Zahra’s notions of photography have changed over the years. Previously, it was a well-composed shot, with a perfect color composition. It was after her apprenticeship in Paros that she realized her love for photography which emphasizes feeling and mood. “My trainer threw all the technical concepts out the window and asked me to photograph my feelings,” she insists.
We ask her about her idea of showcasing her work outside of conventional art spaces and if she gets the same art lovers she would get in art galleries and museums. “It’s a wonderful change that exhibitions are coming out of art galleries. In conventional art spaces, you meet real art lovers who care about art, but sometimes it’s not clear whether you like art or not until you stumble upon it. It’s good that art is coming out of the galleries and now onto the streets. We have to make art more accessible and we have to admit that going to an art gallery is a privilege and not everyone has that privilege,” concludes Zahra.