One for your diary in 2013: Unmissable photography exhibition from Steve McCurry documenting over 35 years of his travels across India. On show at Chris Beetles Gallery in January.
Steve McCurry is one of the world’s most popular and successful photographers whose tireless travelling has resulted in a unique archive of photography, whether taken on assignment or through pursuing personal projects. Of all the countries that he has visited there remains a firm favourite – India, a destination he considers a photographer’s paradise.
Steve McCurry’s relationship with the Indian subcontinent began in his earliest days as a photographer. As a young man holding down his first photographic post at a newspaper in his native Philadelphia, McCurry saved up enough money to buy 300 rolls of film, and a plane ticket to India.
Setting off with only the modest amount of money he remaining, McCurry sustained himself for an astonishing two years as he immersed himself the country, enthralled by its vivid and complex culture.
Inspired by the travels of his hero, Henri Cartier-Bresson, McCurry lived the most simple of existences, but found himself surrounded by the richest visual stimulation he could have imagined. This tough yet rewarding experience laid strong foundations for his career as a photographer and was the beginning of an intense love affair with India – he has since returned over 80 times.
McCurry has always found inspiration in conflict, both subtle and overt. Indian life offers many of these daily contradictions. “These frictions – between past and present, the sacred and the profane, the domestic and the exotic – invigorate me. My impulse is to share them, to create and capture a zone of stillness around them so they can touch and inspire others.”
India’s nomadic tribes are one example of McCurry’s fascination with the dissonant. The millions of wanderers cling to tradition as the rapidly modernizing country makes it difficult for them to survive and maintain their identities.
“I think the joy of photographing in India is that you never quite know what’s waiting for you around the next corner. There’s always the unexpected, there’s always something which could be delightful, something which could be horrifying, something which you’ve never seen before, something wonderful, something ancient, something profound.”
See more of Steve’s iconic photography at his website: Steve McCurry
The exhibition takes place from Wednesday January 16 – Wednesday February 9 2013, from 10am – 5.30pm at
Chris Beetles Gallery
3-5 Swallow Street