Making a regular appearance on Brick Lane, the peacock feather sellers always intrigue me. I asked this man if I could take him photo and he said yes. He posed, wiggled his lips around a bit, but didn’t break a smile.
Brick Lane is a largely South Asian area. Peacocks are native to Sri Lanka and India where they are the national bird and fully protected under the National Wildlife Act. The feathers are considered auspicious and protective, the bird itself sacred in many cultures. Many of the feathers sold on Brick Lane are imported from Bangladesh – the home country of many people who live around the area.
Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh presents the work of more than 70 photographers who have captured aspects of these three countries and their people in striking images. It explores the ways in which the art of photography has developed over time on the subcontinent.
The exhibition is divided into five themes as explained on the gallery’s website: “The Portrait shows the evolution of self-representation; The Family explores close bonds and relationships through early hand-painted and contemporary portraits; The Body Politic charts political moments, movements and campaigns; The Performance focuses on the golden age of Bollywood, circus performers and artistic practices that engage with masquerade; while The Street looks at the built environment, social documentary and street photography.”
Check it out at Whitechapel Gallerynow until 11 April, 2010. Address: 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX Tube: Aldgate East Cost: Tickets £8.50/£6.50 concessions Website for more info is here.