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Indian Art, Craft and Photography
Reflections - Photography contest and exhibition - organised by Sakal Media Group in association with Indiaart Gallery


Reflections - Photography contest and exhibition - organised by Sakal Media Group in association with Indiaart Gallery

For three years (2007, 2008 & 2009) I worked closely with Sakal Media group to create an annual photography contest and exhibition which was titled "Reflections". The concept was borne out of a chance discussion with Mr. Abhijit Pawar who had a new vision for Sakal and felt that any project must capture the imagination of the masses. I was too happy to know his views as all these years I felt that art was the domain of a very small section of the society which had a huge disconnect with the masses. He supported the concept of "Reflections" and put me in touch with Mr. Sureshchandra Padhye who was the editor of Pune edition of Sakal to work out the details and implement the project. It was great fun to work closely with the team from Sakal which consisted of Mr. Sureshchandra Padhye, Mr. Ranjeet Jagtap, Mr. Milind Wadekar and Mr. Vijay Sabnis apart from several others who contributed their bit. The management team at Sakal consisting of Mr. Anand Agashe, Mr. Uday Jadhav and Dr. Shrikant Patankar was supportive all the way which helped us in executing a large project like this.

The contest was announced in all editions of Sakal throughout Maharashtra as well as on Indiaart Gallery's website. The response was terrific with entries flowing in from all corners of the state. We managed to rope in eminent personalities to be the jury members for this contest with Mr. Gautam Rajadhyaksha agreeing to be the brand ambassador and chief jury for "Reflections". In the three years that we ran this contest, the jury members included eminent personalities such as Mohan Wagh, Avinash Gowarikar, Jayraj Salgaonkar, Prashant Godbole, Ajinkya Deo and Milon Mukherjee.

Prize winning as well as shortlisted entries were exhibited in a special exhibition each year. In each of these exhibitions, an invited section was also exhibited. The first year featured portraits shot by Somsekhar. He had spent his lifetime traveling all over the country and taking pictures of eminent personalities from all walks of life. He produced fantastic personal pictures with a very ordinary camera proving yet again that it is the man behind the camera who matters the most. He was a remarkable person in all respects. He carried on with his mission without bothering about other worldly considerations, a quality vary rare to see even among most artists. I sincerely hope that he is able to encash his precious collection of a lifetime.

As I write this, Gautam Rajadhyaksha and Mohan Wagh are no more. One of the important achievements of "Reflections" was to get entries not only from all over the state but several came from other parts of India and even abroad. It was heartening to see enthusiastic photographers from small towns to win prizes in the contests. For some of them, winning a prize at "Reflections" meant a career break. The prize distribution ceremony each time consisted of a presentation by members of the jury who talked about their impressions of the entries and what they looked for while judging the entries. In such occasions, Gautam Rajadhyaksha was at his best. What came out was not only that he was an accomplished photographer but had a very fine sense of aesthetics and appreciation of diverse art forms.