The ongoing lockdown and all the coronavirus anxiety has been taking a toll on many of us right now. As everyone sits confined in their homes, people are constantly thinking of new ways of coping with this desolation and stress. Amidst all the uncertainties, fear of falling economies, and that of the coronavirus itself, people somehow seem to be finding a sense of comfort and solace in the carefree world of their childhood.
This explains why we have been longingly leafing through our sepia-tinted childhood albums, revisiting old games, and indulging in the activities that we used to enjoy as children. Conceptual photographer, Shikha Mahipal, seems to be treading the same path with her latest photo series which is nothing short of magic.
In an attempt to unravel the imaginary world of childhood, Sikha has created pictures that'll hit you with some serious nostalgia. In this photo-series, there's magic, there's fantasy, and there's all that a child can fathom with their boundless imagination. You'll find it hard to believe but this art has actually come out of the toll that this lockdown took on the photographer.
As Sikha shares, "Such is my profession that I am frequently required to go out capture everything that I feel has a story to change. Naturally, being confined at home and doing nothing of that hasn't been easy at it. In fact, it was beginning to take a huge toll on my mental health until I conceived the idea of this photo series."
Wait till you hear about who became the real inspiration behind Shikha's photo series: her 3-year-old nephew and 5-year-old niece! During the lockdown, she'd spend hours and hours talking to these kids, sharing fairytales with them, and creating child-like utopias. There were fairies, there was a mystery, there were dark jungles, and amidst it all two nascent minds which readily became Shikha's coveted muses for the series.
Needles to say, the two were jubilant at the idea of this concept and every day after the photoshoot will come to Shikha all excited to see the results and to share more of their stories. "They'd keep running to me every morning just to tell their stories and where they wanted to go in the next picture. In fact, my niece had her own art project going on the sidelines. While I was busy photoshopping the pictures, she'd make sketches out of what we had discussed," she shares.
While the more you look at these pictures, the more you are drawn to their beauty, it has to be the comforting hues of blue and all the dream elements that appeal to you the most. Sikha explains, "I have used a lot of soothing blues because I wanted to pictorially represent the atmosphere of bed-time stories. Also, it is during the night when we are finally asleep and let ourselves unravel in the dreams where the most fantastical of our imaginations shape, right?"
Though the series revolves around her niece and nephew and their innocent fantasies, there's more to it as well. This photo-series is also an extension of who Shikha happens to be her very core. As she shares, "I have always been a dreamer. I have also imagined myself living these fantasies. So here I am, chasing my dreams. Living them all through the images I create."