“The physicality of places, people and objects are only their most obvious dimension. I try, through my photography, to hint at the inner scaffolding of things: of memory, longing, simple sorrows and complex joys.“ Aradhana Seth

Aradhana Seth’s mobile photo studio project The Merchant of Images is an ongoing transnational conversation, led by the act of photography. Seth invites the public into the slower, more considered space of the old-fashioned photo studio, and evokes a time when a visit to the studio was as memorable as the image that resulted from it. This was particularly the case In India, where Seth is from, the starkly realist medium of photography was often subverted and playfully tweaked by the hand of fantasy – whether through fantastic backdrops, theatrically staged poses, or by hand painting the final image to infuse it with colour.

This project offers a chance to become part of a choreographed image and stillness in the age of the selfie. It is an invitation of sorts. An invitation to reflect as well as to perform, an invitation to look carefully at your surroundings, and be aware of the images you make. Seth’s studio has travelled the world from Canada to India and comes to Derby with a specially commissioned backdrop for FORMAT17.


Supported by Here, There and Everywherea Midlands-London consortium led by New Art Exchange with Delfina Foundation, QUAD/FORMAT, Primary and mac Birmingham as core UK partners.  


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