Gallery Exhibit Brings Exquisite India to Life
Friday, October 21, 2011
PHILADELPHIA (October 21, 2011) – India, a country whose struggles have been chronicled by photojournalists and artists for decades, boasts its own unique aesthetic appeal – from its naturally colorful environment to the arrangement of merchant goods along the market streets. Starting Monday, Nov. 14, the Saint Joseph’s University Gallery will host “India – A Light Within,” an installation by photographer Charlee Brodsky, who sought to capture fragments of India’s vibrant daily life rather than what she sees as its “known” images of poverty. The exhibit will run through Friday, Dec. 16. The Gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving break, Nov. 23-27.
Taken while Brodsky was on a 2007 eleven-day trip to Kolkata with SPARSH, a nonprofit that provides health services to disadvantaged Indian women and children, the 12”x18” inkjet prints are accompanied by creative non-fiction written by Neema Bipin Avashia and poetry written by Zilka Joseph, American-based writers with strong ties to India. Brodsky invited them to write the supplemental action in order to deepen the representation of Kolkata’s environment.
“I wanted to learn more about the ‘otherness’ of what I saw,” says Brodsky. “I am indebted to both writers for filling my photographs with tales of life.”
Though photographs of India are known for capturing the disorder and meager lifestyle of its lower classes, Brodsky’s exhibit focuses on the beauty of the place and the kindness she experienced as a traveler.
“Brodsky's exhibit is a poignant look at life in India that is easily accessible to all viewers,” says Jeanne Bracy, associate gallery director. “The Indian landscapes as seen in her photographs are strikingly colorful and beautiful. The short stories that accompany each piece give depth to the exhibit, and the viewer gets such insight for each photograph from the corresponding text.” After her stay in Kolkata, Brodsky’s experiences have informed her art and her perspective.
“Whether I was photographing in a hospital or during my walks, those whom I met were gracious and kind,” she says. “I’ve heard the word ‘globalization’ used often these last ten years, and I hope this word means that people of the world will be able to care and treat each other as though they are one family.”
Brodsky received her M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows nationally and published in a variety of books, journals and magazines. She is currently a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Saint Joseph’s University Gallery is located in Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus at 376 Latches Lane in Lower Merion, Pa. A campus map may be viewed online. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit the gallery website at http://www.sju.edu/gallery.