RAW: SALA – Sudhira Shah – SSStudio – Rundle St, Kent Town – 4K
Sudhira Shah is a photo journalist with a specialty, when confronted with set pieces, for family portraits. She has been based in Adelaide for around 12 months and her first Adelaide, seven piece, exhibition heralded the opening of her SSStudio in Rundle Street, Kent Town.
It has to be said family portraiture is hardly new, the Gainsborough Studios of this world have thrived on it for decades, but Shah brings a life and enjoyment to her finished works that leap from the paper, images of spontaneity that make you want to be like those featured.
Using either a (mostly) white washed background and floor or the same in black, families across generations are brought together to celebrate their existences as both humans and as families. This exhibition goes a step further by highlighting not only the cross generational aspects but also cross cultural combinations that also just happen to finish up in Adelaide. It speaks to that most unheralded of our great success stories of racial integration.
Two images stand out. In close-up, one eyed relief, Roshni and Shyam are a couple of an arranged wedding and who have come to Adelaide from the hilly slopes of Nepal. Fifi and daughters Tislisha and Phila are from the African Xhosa tribe, the same as Nelson Mandella. Both images ooze of life and their interconnection and seeming contentment with their lot in Australia. They are part of the pot pouri of life that Shah is able to capture brilliantly drawing on her own inter-cultural and travelling experiences.
Group Shot at Opening. artist 3rd from right.