A glimpse at the center of the world

Roy Hartling presents some shots take in India at the Warren G. Flower Gallery

By Alexandra Giubelli

“Benares [Varanasi] is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together,” wrote American author Mark Twain.

That is the name that Roy Hartling, dean of the Photography department, gave to his new exposition currently running at the Warren G. Flowers gallery: Varanasi.
Varanasi is situated in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is considered a holy city in the Buddhist and Jainism religion, and the Holiest place in Hinduism.

According to a legend, the city was built by Lord Shiva approximately 5000 years ago, and it is the most important pilgrimage destination in India.

Having graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the San Francisco Art Institute in California, Hartling is known for primarily working with black and white. Varanasi is a change for him as his exposition is in colour. He is also photographer who pays great attention to fine painting, characterized by his way of playing with light and tones.

Many photographs presented at the exposition are shot with a few people in them, truly showing the buildings and views of India. “Untitled no.6” is the first one with characters in it, and attract the eye as a man is staring right back at the camera.

Also, “Temple Doorway” is a beautiful shot that almost look like three pictures put together as it shows a beautiful and colourful temple hidden in a small street surrounded by dark, deteriorated buildings.

In my opinion, his masterpiece is “Ganges View, Walking man.” This shot looks like a scene from a movie, putting in focus all the right details. You just can’t stop staring at the image, as it was the first pictures from his exhibition that really brought an emotion out of me: serenity.

On the one hand, the emphasis is on contrast, it’s simple water and sky, where you can’t see where one ends and where the other starts. On the other hand, it’s a massive building with many details with a man walking through the pillars. A
breathtaking shot.

You wouldn’t expect more from a professional photographer as those pictures are really of a great quality. However, since the pictures were taken in India, I would expected more texture and colour, as many shots have dull colour like beige and brown.

This beautiful exhibition is running until Nov. 6. Stop by for a quick look.


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