Archive for feminity

The Call of the Real

Posted in Romancing with Chikankari with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by designldg

The Call of the Real

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All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use). The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“What is Art? It is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the Real.” (Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941) This young woman is making a traditional Chikan embroidery (chikankari चिकनकारी چکن کاری) in her little village located nearby Lucknow. Creation of a chikan work piece begins with the use of one or more pattern blocks that are used to block-print a pattern on the ground fabric. The embroiderer then stitches the pattern, and the finished piece is carefully washed to remove all traces of the printed pattern. The patterns and effects created depend on the types of stitches and the thicknesses of the threads used in the embroidery. Some of the varieties of stitches used include backstitch, chain stitch and hemstitch. The result is an open work pattern, jali (lace) or shadow-work. Often the embroiderer creates mesh-like sections in the design by using a needle to separate threads in the ground fabric, and then working around the spaces.

Of the Soul

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by designldg

Of the Soul

“Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.”
(Jalal ad-Din Rumi – Persian Poet and Mystic, 1207-1273)

Those women came a long way to worship in Varanasi (Benaras).
I met them at the top of Dasaswamedh Ghat, nearby a little vegetable market where they were cleaning metallic vessels and cups after having their dinner.
They were quiet, maybe they were tired.
Anyone could have felt a presence, out of the soul fo those ladies…

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Contained in She”

Posted in Corporeality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by designldg

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“Is God a Man or a Woman ?
The answer to this question is neither—- God is That.
But if you must give God a gender, God is more female than male, for he is contained in She.”(Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi), Indian Hindu guru known as Amma “Mother” and the “hugging saint” – Born 1953)

Those women were bathing in the holy waters of the Ganges at Gai Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
The Hindi word “gai’ means “cow”, in many civilizations the cow was venerated as the mother goddess, in India it is a representation of wealth and it is obviously a feminine symbol.
For the Vedic man cows were ‘the “real life” substratum of the goods of life’ (JC Heesterman in The Encyclopedia Of Religion, vol. 5).
This picture could have been shot at any ghat but this place gives emphasis to the character of womanhood which arises from this image.

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

A Free Soul

Posted in Hearts & Souls with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by designldg

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This is a portrait of Shobhaa Dé shot last evening.
This amazing free soul is a notorious Indian writer, columnist and novelist.
After being a model, she started a career in journalism and she founded and edited three magazines “Stardust”, “Society”, and “Celebrity”.
In the 1980s, she contributed to the Sunday magazine section of the Times of India.
In her columns, she used to explore the socialite life in Bombay lifestyles of the celebrities.
At present, she is a freelance writer and columnist for several newspapers and magazines.

One of my favourite book by Shobhaa Dé is “Superstar India – From Incredible to Unstoppable”, I used to read it during my long journeys in train and sometimes I could see what I was reading happening in front of my eyes.
I like her freedom which allows her not to mince her words and I’ll never forget what she said on TV at the time of the Mumbai attacks.
This lady is for sure a woman of substance.

Plucking her Petals

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by designldg

“By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)

This sensuous maiden from Khajuraho was sculpted during the the golden age and is now standing in a room of the Bharat Kala Bhavan, the Art and Archaeological Museum of Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi (Benaras).
It is a model of timeless indian beauty.

The Light in the Heart

Posted in Banarsi (Portraits) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by designldg

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart”
(Kahlil Gibran quotes – Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1883-1931)

One morning I asked Anand to drive his boat to Ramnagar at the opposite side of the Ganges in order to take a few pictures with my friend Rajesh who came with his son and his nieces.
The river was very quiet and with the morning light it was providing a perfect set for taking a few portraits of our group.
This is a portrait of my friend’s niece who has a classical beauty reminding Hellenistic statues.

Memories of a Thousand Years

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by designldg

Memories of a Thousand Years

“I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old.”
(Charles Baudelaire – French poet, 1821-1867)

This lady was at the door of her house in a small street which was leading to the Ganges in Kashi, the oldest part of Varanasi (Benaras).
No one else was there, she was standing like a phoenix who had memories of a thousand years.
I asked her if I could take a few pictures and she happily accepted to pose with two of my friends before posing alone.

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.