View from Conolly’s plot

Part of his ongoing project on Kerala, each of the photographs in the exhibition, taken over three years, depicts events, structures, people and even images from television programmes that are in different ways a comment on the characteristics that make up the state. In his artist statement, the 32-year-old artist provides a descriptive note on each of the images.

Bar, Hotel Arcadia, Kottayam

View from Conolly’s Plot, the piece from which the exhibition takes its name, is the image of a hanging bridge, captured possibly as the artist stands amid what remains of a teak plantation. The plantation, Thomas mentions, was the first teak plantation in the world and was set up by Henry Valentine Conolly who was the district magistrate and then the collector of British Malabar.

Born in Kochi, Thomas graduated from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore in 2003 and has stayed largely with photographs as his medium of choice. “I don’t see my practice as photography as much as working with images. Sometimes it’s not even about photography; for instance, one of the works in this exhibition consists of images that I haven’t photographed myself. These are images that I have sourced from a television channel. The relationship between photography and art is not something I am concerned with while making work," he says, not willing to allow his art to be limited by the medium he works with.

Ambassadors

View From Conolly’s Plot is on view till 23 April at Galleryske, St Mark’s Road, Bangalore.

pavitra.j@livemint.com

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