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Pallon Daruwala: Artist of the season

OCT 20, 2015 | By Aditi Gaitonde

He vividly remembers his first encounter with a camera. A ship used to come to port in Mumbai and his parents, friends of the cruise director, would often take their young son onboard. On one such occasion, a choppy boat ride to the vessel drenched him completely. While he sat in the cabin drying off, he was handed a small Kodak Instamatic to keep him occupied. From there, he went on to study the subject at Brooke Institute of Photography in California and returned to the country to work as an architectural and industrial photographer – it’s now almost 30 years and counting. For his newest collection titled “Living Forest”, Pallon has been capturing trees and shrubbery during his travels since the past decade. He traces this subconscious affinity towards foliage back to his childhood “I went to school in Panchgani where I was always among trees. We used to climb and sit in them to eat raw mangoes and jamuns. I have always felt very differently when I’m surrounded by trees.” The artist admits that he is drawn to anything with textures, a quality that is highly evident in most of his fine art including this body of work. “Ask fashion shutterbugs and they will talk about how the smoothness of skin appeals to them. I’m the complete opposite,” he elaborates. From barks and leaves to roots and branches, his imagery captures them all, often up close so that “you don’t just see it but visually feel it”.