Sally Brownbill

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Photographer Pablo Bartholomew.

– posted by Sally

I met Pablo in Sydney on the night of the reviewers dinner and together with Valery Klamm we were collected from our hotel.
A warm, friendly man, I instantly felt at home with him. We spent several hours of the following days at dinners, meetings and exhibitions.

For the past decade Pablo Bartholomew has been working with his father’s and his archives to produce a series of exhibitions and books of their work. Of these the earliest of Pablo Bartholomew’s work, OUTSIDE IN - 70s & 80s - A Tale of 3 Cities - a collection of 70 black-and-white photographs representing his personal documentary photography, these images remain as apropos today as they were then. There was an acute absence of documentation of changing urban India in these two decades, particularly Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, the three cities referenced in the title. This body of photographs serves as a chronicle of the cities’ shifting nature, character and function. As testimony to the enduring value of his images, these records of urban life have immediacy, an ability to make the “past” contemporary to the viewer. Primarily, however, these photographs are witness to the flux in the social and cultural landscape at that point; through the uniquely personal filter of images of the artist’s self-portraits, friends, family and social milieu. In this exhibition, Pablo Bartholomew’s is the floating, nomadic world of his teens, of psychedelic lifestyles and of his presence within what he refers to as “the first free-thinking generation after Independence” – a world he had personal exposure to as the son of Richard Bartholomew, preeminent art critic, curator, poet and photographer. These prints are notes from his diary enacting personal dialogs, which inadvertently connect to a universal, cross-generational ethos. Outside-In was first shown at Les Rencontres D’Arles, a Festival of photography in France in 2007 after which, in 2008, it traveled to the National Museum, New Delhi and the National Gallery of Modern of Art, Mumbai, Bodhi Art, New York, and in 2008 to Bodhi Berlin, 2009 and the Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata, 2010, Fishbar, London 2011.

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