Sardul Gill - Earth Shrines
"These works are influenced by Indian wayside shrines, passing by them in villages and towns I was drawn to photograph them and find out more about their origins and use. I began to like these images with my own ideas to develop landscape images . The connection between the wayside shrine and my own locality,near to a local waste tip, led me to make connection with the ways in which things are buried in the soil - I was fascinated by the variety of consumer objects discarded and entwined with plants and other natural things - how the two man- made and nature become one.
I came across a frame by accident, capturing some of these objects inside them, this window onto the world fascinated me and reminded me of the wayside shrines. I photographed it and then began to take frames out deliberately to capture new images without infering what I saw. Later I began to add notions of deliberate elements related to landscapes - the drama that goes on within natural elements - like the rain, storm, floods. Not just specific landscape - almost like the energy of landscape.
There is a parallel betwen human emotions and the drama of the natural landscape, fire, water, air, lightning. There's a kind of operatic/interplay in nature, for instance the sky and the land. Just think how these links beteen sky and the land - rain, sunrays etc. linking one to the other. I'm exploring these meeting points.
In a sense there is a parallel here to the roadside shrines which are also meeting points. The corrosion and breakdown of objects at the tip, looking at the qualities of the relationshipwith the soil are sacred in their own right. I felt a homage to these "framed" moments.
There are also other factors, almost archaelogical, built and layered soil. In the making of these pieces, the nature of these elements are important, the few qualities which form landscapes. There is something primeval about this.
Landscape is universal, approaches are universal, Turner and Constable explored tactile qualities. There are links at a psychological level, its about things such as spiritual relationships and elemental qualities rather than about how landscape looks.
The frame gives me an intimacy to relate to my subject which then by framing the work in the frame depicted, conveys this intimacy to the viewer. the frame creates an illusion related to the reality of the circumstance in which the photograph was taken.
This intimacy renews the parallel of the relationship to the roadside shrine. An inner exploration of the mind and the way in which it fits together with natural elements of the world and nature as a whole. Roadside shrines are also to do with gestures, expressions of the inner working of the mind and its relation to nature.
On a more formal level a frame is mere compositional device but through these juxtapositions becomed so much more. It elevated the frame to a big part of the composition and emphasises something of the importance of the cultural presentation of images.
These are images that burst out of their frames just as life bursts out of the formalities that bind us allowing us to act in so many new and intuitive ways."
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