KAVADSA: A Photographic journey with Shailan Parker

Lolita Dutta Delhi 

Shailan Parker’s love affair with photography began at the age of 7 when his father presented him with a small Kodak box camera. 

It has culminated into a show of magical black and white images, all of them underpinned by his extensive training as a graphic designer. Trained in visual communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Shailan brings to photography a keen understanding of design concepts, graphics and digital technology. 

“Kavadsa”, as the exhibition was titled, is a tactile exploration of the natural, an attempt to synthesize the rational with the temporal resulting in conscious and varied abstract imagery.  Predominantly the images are an expression of “forms” occurring in nature, macro details of texture, curves and shapes, creating abstract graphic images, through the juxtaposition of light. Shailan manages to capture the very essence of an abstract form in leaves, shells, and dried flowers. 

The textures are so real that they almost make you want to reach out and experience a tactile sensation. 

In an interesting experimental space, some images have been digitized on fabric and layered against light to create a magical, ethereal effect. It’s like walking into a forest full of reverie and mystery. There is silence in his work, but within the meditative silence lies many years of deep-rooted practice, visible in the way each image has been framed and detailed. 

A slide show of his years of work in industrial, architectural, advertising, food, travel and other forms of photography, reflect an eye for detail, capturing textures of fabrics, interiors and vistas of landscapes, among others. 

Although each image is in black and white, Shailan does not dream or capture only in black and white. This was an exhibition of a photographer worth viewing, for it was not a static display of images. There was movement. Conceived by the power of light.