'People of India' photo exhibition

Posted on 16th January, 2015

I ventured to Coventry on 10th January. This was to view a photo exhibition with the umbrella title 'People of India', by local photographer Jason Scott Tilley, at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition consisted of 3 distinct parts, of which his own images, 'The Beautiful People', made up just the one. Another part was made up of images by his grandfather, an Anglo-Indian with the very Indian-inspired name of Bertram Edwin Ebenezer Scott. The third was a British Raj photographic exercise that the exhibition overall took its name from.

 

As I was travelling by bus, I had to limit my time there to fit the constraints imposed by timetables. This obviously restricted my time in the gallery, which impacted very much on what I was able to look at. As such, I chose to see the images of only Jason Scott Tilley, which, based on my own photographic jaunts to India, I felt I could relate most closely to.

 

Tilley used a Bronica medium format camera for the work, which was all in black & white. I don't know if he also used flash, but I was reasonably impressed by his control of contrast in the vast majority of cases. Also admirable was his ability to actually capture many of the poses he did, which I'm sure resulted from much time spent together, rather than from paths crossing for just a minute or two. Most impressive though were the intense expressions exhibited by a number of his subjects, expressions that I would have been very proud myself to have captured.

 

With its three components, the exhibition must surely have been a massive undertaking, with 'The Beautiful People' on its own deserving of a much wider audience than the heavy Coventry emphasis that the visitor book suggested. In that respect, I won't be surprised to hear that it receives deserved national, or even international, acclaim.

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