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FOCUS Photography Festival
Shilpa Gavane (b. 1984, India) is an architect, teacher and freelance photographer. She has a BA in architecture from the Sushant School of Art and Architecture and has completed a postgraduate diploma in photography at the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad. The primary intention of her work is to portray the quality of urban life, underpinned by a strong interest in sustainability and the environment. Gavane believes that photography holds the possibility of changing mindsets, and most of her projects reflect the relationship between the environment and the urban landscape.
Home sweet home
of patched walls and leftover scars…
Recently after an arranged marriage, Gavane moved into her in-laws’ house. It has been their home for the last 20 years. There were two significant aspects about this change. Adopting a completely new set of family, neighbours and friends and a struggle to make someone else’s home, which is their personal space; her own.
In any home there are many small details that people tend to ignore, like faded memory. There are habits of a family member which others may not notice because they are used to them. To an outsider, an architect and photographer, the house’s imperfections become apparent; some details are distracting; some habits irritating. Despite this, there is something comforting in the house, in its non-decor. Some new things to appreciate. It feels peaceful, humble, a place to rest. There is good, and there is bad. There is anger and peace; and a variety of opposing emotions.
Photographing this new home became a way for her to deal with it, a way of owning it. Sometimes it may reflect the beauty and imperfections of its people. Photographing is a way of acceptance, a way to let go of differences and imperfections and appreciate the good things, a way to give meaning to the phrase ‘home sweet home’.