DBPFP 2024: Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad 

Black and white photograph of a person standing on a path with drawings added to the image

DBPFP 2024: Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad 

Black and white photograph and painting of landscape

Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad are shortlisted for the book Fields of Sight (2023), published by Edition Patrick Frey

Through fusing photography and Warli painting, photographer Gauri Gill (b. 1970, India) and painter Rajesh Vangad (b. 1975, India) collaboratively reinvent the practice of painted photography, interweaving historical and generational painting practices into the photographic object. Their complex image dialogue addresses the politics of aesthetics, environmental destruction, memory and decolonisation. 

The project began in 2013 in the Adivasi village of Ganjad, Dahanu. Vangad, who grew up in this landscape, served as Gill’s knowledgeable guide. While Gill’s photographs captured the ever-changing qualities of the land, they fell short of revealing the hidden but essential elements beyond the visible. Vangad bridged this gap by embellishing Gill's images with intricate drawings. His vivid narratives depict the multifaceted realities of Warli life in the region, from floods and droughts to family and village life, unrest and terror, spirits and myths, light and shadow.  

Together the artists challenge contemporary perspectives and explore how viewers ascribe meaning to a place and how the act of viewing itself creates complicity. Through their creative and experimental partnership, they encourage viewers to explore the hidden, elusive layers that exist beneath the surface.  

About Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad 

Gauri Gill is a Delhi based photographer. Her projects explore documentary photography through community-engaging methods using the medium as a memory practice. Gill’s work addresses the Indian identity markers of caste, class and community. She has exhibited within India and internationally; at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2023), BAMPFA, Berkeley (2020), the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2019), Chobimela, Dhaka (2019), Chennai Photo Biennale (2021 and 2019), Museum Tinguely, Basel (2018), MoMA PS1, New York (2018), Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017), 7th Moscow Biennale (2017), Prospect 4, New Orleans (2017), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016), San Jose Museum of Art (2015), The Wiener Library, London (2014) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010), among other places. She has also consistently exhibited at locations outside of the art world, including public libraries, rural schools and non-profit institutions. Her work is in the collections of prominent institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Museum, London; Smithsonian Institution, Washington and Fotomuseum, Winterthur.  

Rajesh Vangad is a Warli painter, which is a traditional form of painting belonging to the indigenous people of Warli. He also works with murals and illustrations. Born in the village of Ganjad in Thane, Maharashtra, Vangad is a self-taught artist; his artistic work was influenced by his parents and later by the noted Warli painter, Jivya Soma Mashe. He has painted notable murals at the Craft Museum in New Delhi, the Homi Bhaba Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, and the T2 Terminal at the International Airport in Mumbai. His work has been exhibited across India and internationally in the UK, Spain and Japan. Vangad has published three books: ‘My Gandhi Story’ published by Tulika Books, ‘Kabir Saamagri’ as part of the Kabir Project, and ‘The Indian Crafts Journey’, as well as a map of Maharashtra by Dastkaar Haat Samiti.