This is the first time I have curated an exhibition of Mrs. Vyarawalla’s photographs where she has not been there to help me identify the people, place, time and location. So these images emerge, as it were, from the hazy but magical mists of anonymity. They stand like dazzling spectres whose origins are yet to be traced or perhaps, they may never be. But they tell stories; about the photographer and the life and time of her subjects from the 1930s to the 1950s. These images are about the passionate pursuit of the intimate details of everyday life; in particular, the lives of women within and outside institutions. The somewhat neglected chest-of drawers packed with negatives has begun to speak. This collection opens the door a crack, to the yet undiscovered archive of the many-faceted Homai Vyarawalla.
By Sabeena Gadihoke