Some paintings depict items scattered around mountaineering camps: steel plates, cylinders, rusty wheelbarrows, a yellow excavator and a sewing machine practically falling apart. One canvas has a rolled-up roti held together by a safety pin. There is a larger statement here against the recklessness, entitlement and egotism of mountain visitors.
Despite these undercurrents, ‘Whistle Blowers’ is not a pessimistic show. It is more a call to action to be more mindful, more conscious. Our four-legged mountain friends are not indentured servants, but beings with dreams and hopes of their own.
We are conditioned to imagine nobility in horses and ridicule donkeys. Rai subverts these notions by inviting us to look into the eyes of mules as muses.
by Bharat Rai
Wind Horse Gallery, Bhanimandal-Ekantakuna Road, Lalitpur
10am-6pm (closed on Mondays)
Limited visitors in the hall. Masks mandatory.
Till 17 January 2022.
On-screen mountains, Sahina Shrestha
What next for Reinhald Messner?, Kunda Dixit