The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking Back: Art 103

As I work on a post about a cool jewellery brand in Kenya, I thought it'd be nice to share some of my previous work- more on the creative side, if you will. This is a video I'd done about 4 years ago for a photography project, and the accompanying text. I'd love to hear what you think! 

Project C Final from Roshni Walia on Vimeo.

“Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn’t attending to. My photographs are intended to represent something you don’t see.” 
-Emmet Gowin, in Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography.’

In this series of photographs, I hope to show how an individual
relates to and develops in their world in terms of their
individuality, their relationships, the society around them, and
finally, their future and all that this future brings.

The first six images show an individual standing alone, yet, they
are aware of the possibilities that lie ahead. This is shown by the
various paths and in the fifth and sixth images, an individual lamp
hanging in front of a door that is illuminated by light, and that
opens to reveal a sky that is lit up and seemingly limitless.

The next five images show the relationships of an individual. With recurring
paths, this shows an individual entering into and progressing through
relationships that sometimes may be ambiguous and sometimes
straightforward. The next three images now show an individual looking
back to, and in a way realising, the many people around them, and in
effect, the society they live in. Yet again, in the thirteenth image,
we see that there is light ahead of the large group of people, showing
that an individual has to look beyond society for their purpose and

The next image now begins to show the complexity of what lies ahead in
their life. It shows someone walking down a path, yet upon closer
inspection, it is not quite as simple as that. 

The sixteenth to twentieth images now show the individual looking forward to what is
about to come. There are varying paths shown, like a bridge, roads,
and a stream, that show the varying forms that the future ahead is
taking. The final image ends on a burst of light that shows that after
an individual has travelled, learned, and experienced various things,
they can now make the most of their potential because of who they have

The thirteenth image is a key image in this series. It shows people
alone, yet in groups, indicating relationships and again uses the
themes of light and dark to show progression through time, and what
lies ahead. It complements the first photograph
in that the first photograph show someone in the dark being illuminated
by a flash of light, and it has a group of people in the dark being
slightly illuminated by the light beyond them.

Until I put this project together, I was not aware of the common
themes that came across in most of my work; light and dark to show
something that is not negative or positive but rather, now and then,
or even here and there. I also realised that a lot of this work
reflected upon me as an individual, and these were not just random
photographs that I had to force to work together.

I especially enjoyed Irving Penn’s ‘Worlds in a Small Room.’ I could
relate to the sense of studio, which for me is not just a room, but in
effect any space in which there is a photographer, a camera and a
subject, and how this studio seemed to elevate and yet equalise all.
He says “And what each experience had in common with the others,
although in varying degrees, was what became for me the most
surprising and fascinating fact. Taking people away from their natural
circumstances and putting them into the studio did not simply isolate
them, it transformed them.”

For me, photographing people and objects definitely transforms them,
and while this may be from my perspective, it is definitely enough to
make the images all relate to each other, to me, and potentially to
their audience too.

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