Model-turned-photographer Sheetal Mallar finds beauty in simplicity for her debut exhibition

Model-turned-photographer Sheetal Mallar finds beauty in simplicity for her debut exhibition

The exhibition is part of ongoing Mumbai Gallery Weekend ’20

By Meenakshi Iyer  January 9th, 2020

A high-flying career in modelling ensured Sheetal Mallar was always in the limelight, but it kept her away from her family, friends and the city she grew up in. “I took up photography to reconnect with them. It happened organically, as a slow process of discovery over the past nine years,” she says. 

After publishing her first book Alone Together, Mallar is now all set for her debut exhibition titled Transients. A part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend ’20, the exhibition will showcase over 25 photographs that focus on the delicate, unspoken relationships between people and places. It emphasises on the connection they share with everyday objects that may seem mundane, but to Mallar’s lens they bare distinct stories. From the sets of a noir thriller that recreates World War II Calcutta, and ruins of fire-ravaged film studios to the domestic realities of a family that specialises in producing horror movies, her camera glides through the many ephemeral spaces of cinema. 

“In my career as a model, I have had to construct and deconstruct a persona to become an image over and over again. I think it is this part of me that resonates with visiting sets and spaces inhabited by make-believe worlds,” she says of her outtakes from film sets. “I am fascinated by the fact that entire worlds are being constructed, that participants or actors are expected to inhabit and make their own temporarily, which are then brought down, collapsed, disappeared.” Mallar finds her subjects in this in-between-ness. Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, the exhibition starts on January 9 at Art Musings and will continue for a month. 

Featured photograph: Denzil Sequeira (Sheetal Mallar)