Self-taught photographer Payal Kakkar, who is showcasing her Goa works on mines and mangroves at the Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi, feels photographs have the power to spark positive change in society.
The exhibition of her works For Ground ends tomorrow, July 21. She spoke to Gomantak Times Digital about what motivates her to pick up the camera and shoot.
You claim to be a self-taught artist.
Was your exhibition in Delhi a spontaneous idea or a well-thought-out one?
I applied for the Shridharani Gallery space of the Triveni Kala Sangam, a prestigious cultural body in Delhi, to showcase my 2021 works on Goan mines and mangroves but had to wait for around 18 months to get the slot.
The gallery had a backlog of bookings from the Covid time. Finally, in March, I got a call saying my work has been selected for a solo show at Shridharani Gallery. So, in three months, I had enough time to produce a video projection and work on augmented reality, print and frame, and create a beautiful show.
How much time do you spend in Goa?
I call Goa my second home and spend up to six months here.
You have explored the churches in Old Goa. Share your experience.
Churches in Goa are landscape monuments. The churches in Goa display a blend of Western and Asian architecture. However, these are very much native buildings which emerged as the material culture of a group of people who were converted to Catholicism in the 16th and 17th centuries.
I worked on this collection for almost two years. The images speak of how I felt and not just what I saw. My works evoke an emotional response and create a moment in time where time stood still, and we can connect with our inner spirituality, losing focus of the chaos around us and the regular errands that keep us occupied.
Why are you fascinated by environmental photography?
I have a master’s in Environment Protection. My interest in the conservation of the environment comes from my father, who was a pioneering environmental industrialist in India, involved in the manufacturing of effluent treatment plants.
I worked under his guidance for a decade and specialised in garbage and sewage treatment planning for towns. I moved to activism through photography as a means to bring positive change in conservation.