Mystical verses, contemporary images

“Every photograph I take is an experience” says Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki. For Bhagyashri, her work speaks of spontaneity. It is a complete process of self-exploration, and an expression of her true nature.

Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

After graduating in Computer Applications and having worked as a web designer, she studied photography at the Sri Aurobindo Center of Arts and Communication. In her study she was largely exposed to Photojournalism as well as documentary and conceptual photography. Soon, she worked on various projects that allowed her to explore her creativity. Her series on ‘Ladakh – The land of prayers’ has been published in the Sunday Guardian and another series ‘Photography’ was published in The Caravan Magazine. Currently, Bhagyashri is part of a team of photographers called Fseven Photographers, who take up commercial work including product, food, industrial and other photography. Her personal projects include a series called ‘Delhi above the noise’ which captures the many moods of this city from an elevation, among other vantage points. Bhagyashri has her own way of seeing things and her personal perspective is displayed in her work. Her photographs are all about what she feels and how something captivates or moves her. At Tiruvannamalai, she will depict the ancient hymns, ancient Tamil literature and devotional poems of the legendary culture through contemporary visuals. She will study the writings of ‘Thevaram and Thiruvacakam’ and express the life of the Nayanar Saints with abstract visuals. She will be using both digital and the analogue medium while experimenting with multiple exposures.

Bhagyashri says, “Consciously or subconsciously, we all want to attain liberation. We may all have a different idea altogether about the the means / paths to be free. In ancient times, the lives of people were simple and so were their desires. Its’ almost two months since I have come to Tiruvannamalai. The simplicity and the tranquil lifestyle seems to be influencing me in profound ways. I believe every place has its soul and few of my past projects have also been an exploration about the same. Here while my journey has just began, I am certain of undergoing my own spiritual journey breaking down the walls and being my true self. The first phase of my project is to create visuals representing the lives of the 63 Nayanmars (holy devotees), who dedicated their lives and few of which lives after lives in reverence to lord Shiva – the ultimate moksha for them was to serve the lord and be his companion.”

The Periya puranam (Tamil: பெரிய‌ புராண‌ம்), that is, the great purana or epic, sometimes called Tiruttontarpuranam (“Tiru-Thondar-Puranam”, the Purana of the Holy Devotees) is a Tamil poetic account depicting the legendary lives of the sixty-three Nayanars, the canonical poets of Tamil Shaivam. It was compiled during the 12th century by Sekkizhar, who (Tamil: சேக்கிழார்) was a poet and scholar of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, a Saiva saint contemporary with the reign of Kulothunga Chola. He compiled and wrote the Periya Puranam, 4253 verses long, recounting the life stories of the sixty-three Shaiva Nayanars, the poets of Shiva who composed the liturgical poems of the Tirumarai. Sekkizhar’s work itself became part of the sacred canon.

“He is beyond the world’s thought
His tresses are decorated with the moon and rivers
Immeasurable brilliance;
Shiva, the Dancer in the Hall
Praise and worship his feet
That blossom as Grace.” – Shekkizhar

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri  Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Sekkizhar (Tamil: சேக்கிழார்) was a poet and scholar of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, a Saiva saint contemporary with the reign of Kulothunga Chola. He compiled and wrote the Periya Puranam, 4253 verses long, recounting the life stories of the sixty-three Shaiva Nayanars, the poets of Shiva who composed the liturgical poems of the Tirumarai. Sekkizhar’s work itself became part of the sacred canon.

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Caption: As his heart was moved by love,
Marar of Iiayankudi settlement
Went with a basket on his head
To the fields where the fowls slept..
– Sekkizar

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri  Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

(to be continued…)

(to be continued…)

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) Bhagyashri Parki / 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. Blog maintained by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Profile of Bhagyashri Patki by Ami Gupta / EtP. 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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