So i wrote to the secretary of the Academy outlining my time line for travel in India asking if there was a small space for a show at the Academy say in early October ? emails flashed back and forth like out of work Bankers …Though the secretary tried really very hard to accommodate me with a small show the answer was No. here i would like to thank Bulbul Roy personally for all her efforts in trying to get me a space , Thank you . Well that left a vacuum ….that needed filling ? casually i said to Seema I don’t suppose you have exhibition space in your hotel ?? She being very professional in her position as General Manager of The Taj Bengal in Kolkata saying nothing over all those weeks of emails that yes in fact the hotel does have a very good exhibition space and it is available around the time that i am in Kolkata after some short negations regarding costs and where I would stay i said yes thank you . and see you in early October . lots to do in a short space of time to get some art ready to hang …It just does not come from the Void . had I over committed myself here was the Mantra ringing in my ears ……then my partner Susi said don’t worry you can do it ….you always do it . No comment here but i just got on with it . Ideas flowed like salmon swimming up stream to their destination….birth then death ..the choice was mine ? I finally chose to do 12 Photos to canvas images of sculptures …the faces of sculptures that i have photographed in Nek Chands wonderful Rock Garden up in Chandigarh North of Delhi. I have visited this visionary place several times over the last 15 years and just Love it. So i chose 12 images . 12 corresponds spiritually to a state of completeness. So a good number . i chose a door image at the beginning and ending of the 12 images .This symbolises entering into the Sacred Face and all that stands behind it spiritually …here there is no time . no beginning and no ending just you and your Creator . To Face the Self is a challenge we all should undertake when ever the opportunity arises . This installation of doorways and Faces is an opportunity for such a process most don’t see these opportunities . We are blind to the reality around us all . So enough of me starting to lecture on Arcane aspects of Doorways and Faces .
The 12 images i had printed up in Delhi then i dragged them up to Kalimpong then down to Kolkata paying dearly for the flight access baggage as i did ….dont go there …. At my arrival at around 4pm on wednesday 3/10/12 at The Taj Bengal hotel my out look on India changed . the welcome by all the staff and Management .including Seema Mohanchandran was just wonderful .I felt as if i had just been dropped onto another Planet by my Old Yellow taxi from the airport. not that i am nocking Old Yellow taxies . I rather like the ambassador taxies they give character to the place .i spent the next hours just showering. putting on clean clothes . enjoying the view from my 4th floor window of the surrounding City of Kolkata . I was surprised how Green it is and so many Big mature trees there were within the City sky scape to enjoy . I explored my inner hotel landscape also it too was for me green ….I felt like and was treated like the President of a first World Country but with out the hassles of security personal around me . I could get to like this ”Inner – State ” of The Taj Bengal hotel and now I know why Princess Debby stays here .
Thursday afternoon finally got my act together down stairs to the Promenade Lounge .my front man Vijaybabu the guest Service Officer could not do enough for me all the 12 easels with lights on each were up and on in no time LOOKING –GOOD we had a great exhibition / installation even if i say so myself . I only wish that Nek Chand was here to see it too .
So that was Thursday ..on Friday . still i have not ventured out side the hotel ??? it may be a returning to the womb for me ?? or something worse …perhaps i am getting Lazy ? 3pm i met both Seema and the Director of Public Relations for the hotel . Modhurima Sinha for coffee and a friendly chat during which they both said how pleased they were with me being here and how they are enjoying my Photo show in the Promenade Lounge. I was then presented with a lovely gift of appreciation from both of them and the Taj Bengal hotel it is a pair of lovely clay miniatures of the huge lovely clay sculptures that stand so wonderfully at the back ground of my exhibition they were sculptured by the famous Indian sculptor Shyamal Ray these are just beautiful [ see them in the back ground of my photos ] as we three chatted Seema said would i like to go to a book launch up on the 5th floor at 4 00pm ?? why not . All very formal thank god i had my best on . The author was a lovely woman by the name of Sangeeta Bahadur she was quit entertaining lots of both informal and formal approaches to the way she writes . sharing with those who had the right questions and she had a lot to share i must say i quite enjoyed it . the formal side well thats just how it is . she also sang a very beautiful Indian song . some one asked out of the Blue for it ?? this song i enjoyed very much and told her so when she was singing her book for me . I also told her of my show down stairs . she said that she and her husband would com look at it after the launch. 6 45 pm and there she was . A true artist . we chatted for some time about the images during which she invited me to show these photo images at her work centre in London ..how could i refuse i said yes ….god on it goes . forgot almost to tell you the title of her book JAAL book 1 of the kaal trilogy its a blend of her Fantasy ….or is it ??…and Old Indian Mythology …WOW ..I have not read any fiction for over 30 years and i just love it …its contents have real depth. old Truths . lots of action i can see coming out of it a real Hollywood action block buster of a Film ..watch this space .
Today being Saturday 6th …time to leave the Womb . venture into Kolkata City proper ..WOW the taxis here actually use the meters and give receipts…unbelievable for India …it just keeps changing with out telling you . the oxford book shop and do i need heavy books to lug back to OZ ? yes 3 .. then over to The Academy of Fine Arts to look at the Gallery space and to talk to the secretary No No No the secretary does not work weekends and the taller is not opened till 3pm the time i have to be back at the Taj and my exhibition ….mmm…In your Face India yet again …I can play the game as well as the best of them . I wandered back into the Mail dominated office chose the most important guy there and pleaded my case ..he was sympathetic and showed me through the entire gallery spaces Wow there are some great spaces lots of ideas are already flowing ….but when ??? I said thanks to my new best friend Mr Jhantu Mavik jumped a taxi to the Taj and down to the exhibition where i talked to the staff for the next couple of hours that is in-between them serving their customers another day in Kolkata . i will now attempt to put some photos in now ..Mjw 6/10/12.