Street Still Life

I went for the Steve McCurry exhibit at the Taidehalle when I was in Helsinki. Besides fantastic compositions and capturing the soul of his subject- there was a short film on his using the last roll of Kodachrome film to capture images that meant something to him. To fulfill this quest, he decided to go to India, his chosen destination for vibrance of color, subject matter and diversity. Of course, the images both enthralled me and made me a bit nostalgic and homesick.

We’re so entrenched in the digital camera age, that its easy to take multiple shots and delete/ edit/ instragram/ share.  As I walked from the Taidehalle to the Museo Design in Helsinki, I challenged myself to take predetermined shots, with as much control as possible.  I’m always searching for compositions- in my head, in my surroundings. A simple setting, vibrant, with shapes, color and an intriguing subject matter was what I was looking for. An object in a setting that I could weave a story around.

So, if you had 36 shots left, what would you click?


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A trip to the city of Detroit

The Hart Plaza

I visit every city that my husband works in and this trip was to Detroit. I went there from Chicago on the Amtrak, my first long-distance train journey in the United States. A very comfortable one, with picturesque moments as we passed the great lakes and some incredible ones as the city approached- abandoned, dilapidated houses (called ‘blight’ by some locals), shattered panes of glass and huge lots filled with tyres and scrap metal cars. Walking through a deserted downtown, the city just has this feeling of a ‘has-been’. There were several silent moments for self-reflection- while I was the only person in a café for breakfast, or the only passenger in the compartment of the ‘people-mover’ or the only human at the plaza on the riverfront. There was so much ‘ruin porn’ to photograph and still I couldn’t make myself do it.  I would feel too much like one of those tourists who visit Mumbai and just take pictures of slums. It didn’t seem fair to be a visitor and do that to the city.

I am, however, posting an image from artist/ photographer Eric Holubow because I think this image manages to capture the essence whilst still being hopeful and wistful.

Room with a View, Eric Holubow

The highlight of the trip was a visit to the DIA- the Detroit Institute of Art which I happened to visit on the 80th anniversary of Rivera’s completion of the gorgeous Detroit Industry Murals. In a beautiful sunlit hall, there are 27 panels dedicated to the Detroit labor industry, the finest Mexican mural art in the United states. These murals depict industry and technology as the indigenious culture of Detroit. A detailed ipad tour outlines the thought process, ideas, and every conceivable insight into the work. It gave a feel of what the city might have been like in its prime and really helped to compile the history much better than any Wikipedia page ever could have.

Diego Rivera Court, DIA


Art trading

One of the best parts of being an artist is that I don’t have a paucity of art in my own living space. I have recently found out, it does not always have to be my own work on my walls. As my art and my network of artists friends develops, I am able to find artists willing to exchange work with me.It’s pretty simple really, find artists and art you love, who in turn love your work; match approximate price points and approach.

1-Barlow Nelson is a silkscreen printmaker whose prints depict objects or images encountered in his ordinary activities. He uses the complex screenprinting process to express the interaction of shapes, space and bold colors. Barlow uses his unique attention to detail, technical precision and planning to generate his vibrant prints.  His facebook page can be found here.


Barlow Nelson, Lisse de feuillet, Silkscreen on paper


Tulika Ladsariya City Arising, Mixed media on canvas

2- Emily Rutledge is inspired by the haphazard visual fabric of life. Mangled handbills and posters form accidental collages. Tattered logos, text, and color collide. Marker tags and graffiti give a voice to those lacking one. Fragments of faces on torn scraps hint at the impermanence of life.

Emily Rutledge, Disorderly Conduct, Mixed media on cradled panel

Tulika Ladsariya, Bricks, Paint, Ink on brick

Featured artist: Suzanne Hilal

Suzanne Hilal, The Hot Sun, Silkcreen on paper

I met Suzanne at an exhibit we put together and then later at the Hyde Park art center where she created in the printmaking studio space at every possible opportunity. A committed young artist who works seamlessly with a lino print on one side, a woodcut on the other and silkscreen multiple times till she gets the perfection she is seeking. The best way to define Suzanne is ‘dedicated’ and of course ‘creative’. Like any self-taught artist, she faced the challenges of going out in the real world with her work, but did it tirelessly in Chicago, London and Sudan till she got the response she wanted.

I love her Art page on facebook, her work and her personality. Keep creating!

Eric Perriard: Urban Souls

Image courtesy artist: Eric Perriard, Urban Souls #1


I have always enjoyed photography and use my own camera often to take pictures of things that inspire. Pictures can provide a concrete, yet individualistic structure of visual data to build upon. A picture may be enigmatic, or it may allow a viewer access to something remarkable that could not be perceived or understood in another way. 

It is also intriguing to see how other people look through different lenses and sometimes see the same thing. The eye may be different, the city and continent may be separate but there is a link for sure. I enjoyed viewing ‘Urban Souls’ through the eyes of Photographer Eric Perriard and I am sure you will too.

Eric has managed to beautifully capture that moment of stillness in a busy ‘megapolis’ life. How difficult it is to take a moment, pause and introspect what our life is about? And if we do it, how often do we feel that need to desperately change something, without knowing what that ‘something’ is…