Shibu Arakkal in Tiruvannamalai

Shibu Arakkal, Bangalore based photo artist is participating in Project 365 – the collective public photo art project initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle in Tiruvannamalai. Shibu Arakkal, son of eminent painter Yusuf Arakkal, was born in Bangalore and after completing his BA from St. Josephs’ Arts & Science College, Bangalore he got trained in digital media from Edit Institute, Bangalore. He was trained in photography under Sudhir Ramchandran and Rafique Sayed. Since 1999, Shibu’s works are widely exhibited in India and abroad. He has won several awards. The most recent is the Lorenzo il Magnifico gold prize in digital art at the prestigious Florence Biennale 2013.

Shibu Arakakl at Tiruvannamalai / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Shibu Arakkal at Sri Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Shibu Arakakl at Tiruvannamalai / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Shibu Arakkal at Sri Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives

Shibu made his first visit to Tiruvannamalai on September 15, 2014. He spent almost three days, exploring the town, talking with the other Project 365 photographers and developing his concept as part of Project 365. Something in him was profoundly touched by this visit to our ancient town. He says, “Many a souls have been lost in big cities and found in little towns. Tiruvannamalai is a town of gigantic profundity, spiritually and in the very essence of life itself, as anyone could see.

Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives

When a relatively small patch of land is seeped in history, of kings and commoners, of gods and devotees, of saints and philosophers and of the land itself, the curious thing is how simple and yet relevant it can still remain. I speak of a relevance of this little town, in a very real sense of being and of being what you are and intensely proudly so. A reality untainted by connotations of a “virtual life” and of urban frustrations. It isn’t hard to see why the physical landscape of the town itself has such spiritual buoyancy, so much that immortal beings life Ramana Maharshi chose this patch of land to meditate in and to bring the outside world in to share that philosophy with. It is also curious that in-spite of being ruled by various dynastic monarchies, Tiruvannamalai has such distinct character, one of its own and of a very humble but rich legacy.

Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives

Believers in destiny like I, seldom wonder why we are drawn to a place, knowing fully well that the spirit of a place itself, such as this one, often becomes the food for our own souls.”

Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives
Agni Shylam by Shibu Arakkal / Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC Archives

Shibu finds the narrow lanes of this age-old town and the manner in which the settlements are constructed interesting. In Project 365, Shibu intends to document the busy / lone lanes and streets of this age old settlement.

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer: Image (C) Shibu Arakkal / Project 365 PUBLIC archives.

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

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