India- Day 8

This morning we traveled to the ‘Fine Art School’ to study the art of miniature paintings. Before arriving I assumed we were being taught how to make the paint brushes to create the miniature paintings but when we arrived i was presently surprised. They showed us how to paint out the elephant drawings we have seen on the market stalls since we arrived. With a demonstration board and teachers coming round showing each of us the steps. First of all a teacher came round and drew an elephant on the top of the paper for us to copy. after copying it in pencil we then were given black ink and a paint brush to outline the elephant. afterwards we added colour to the elephant, I choose pink as I thought this would look cute. We added the colour around the edge then I added water in the centre making the colour fade out. after this we used the black to add lots of detail including patterns on the saddle and the face. We then decorated the outline creating the finished piece. I was overall really pleased with my drawing because I’m normally very un confident but it went much better then I thought.

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Afterwards one of the teachers took us to his home where he sold many of the groups work, here I bought two miniature paintings one in red and one in pink, as I thought it would be nice to frame mine next to theres, when I returned home.

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India- Day 6

Today we visited the City Palace of Udaipur where the Maharaja still lives. The palace took nearly 400 years to construct in a extravagant style. It is said to be the largest of its type in the state of Rajasthan. Build on a hill creating a beautiful panoramic view of the city, overlooking Lake Pichola. This was probably one of my favoirte places we visited because of all the amazing patterns on the ceilings, walls and windows. I was very impressed with all the different rooms having there own unique style of patterns and colour schemes. It was rather beautiful to look at. (only have limited imagery because you needed to pay to take photos in the Palace)

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India- Day 5 (Travelling to Udaipur)

Today we took the long journey to travel from Jaipur to Udaipur which took roughly 12 hours in total but we were lucky enough to have amazing tour guides who took us to different interesting places along the way.

One of the first stops we made was to visit the road workers on the side of the road. Sheer (our tour guide) told us these people were unemployed and as part of a government project  they attempt to give these people at least 100 days of work throughout the year. When we stopped they all came over to take photos with us, the women were wearing brightly coloured, beautiful sari’s which made for a lovely photograph. They did not want anything from us, they just wanted to see the photos we had taken, which I thought was absolutely lovely. When we returned to the coach Sher had told us that the men moved to the back in order to allow the women to show there faces.

We continued on the long journey and ended up stopping again at the train station called  ‘Khambli Ghat’. It appeared from the outset it looked unused and walking up into the waiting room, a man was laying on the floor asleep. We walked onto the plat form to see an old train across the way sat there stationary. we all ran and jumped on the train which we were told it was something to do with the english train line, but I can’t find any information about this. It was a very old train with small seated sections with top railings for luggage. With an interest in abandoned structures and transportation, I found this to be really interesting to see an style train like this.

 

India- Day 4

First of all today we traveled to the City Palace of Jaipur, which was next to the Jantar Mantar. This is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the king Sawai Jai Singh in 1734, featuring one of the largest stone sundial. At first look I was totally confused how they worked because they were showing a different time to the current time according to my phone. But soon we were shown around by a guide who gave us more information about the sun dials. He said that although India has one time zone, Jaipur itself has its own time zone which is minus 39 minutes to the normal time zone of India. Which I assume means that india has many time zones according to different areas. The sun dials we looked at showed the time down to the minute which was correct according to Jaipur standard time which I thought was very interesting.

This area also included twelve zodiac sign instruments, one for each sigh. Our guide told us that although the signs that represent us are usually chosen by date. He says according to religious and social beleifs in the 18th century in India and still to this day, we can work out our signs according to the date, time and place of our birth, and although I didn’t get the time to ask him about my sign, I will email him as I have a specific interest in horoscopes and I think this could be very interesting for my on going project this idea of 12.

After this we visited the city palace, which was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, built in 1732. Inside included an interesting textiles museum of traditional textile costumes with gold and silver decoration. I thought some of the bead work looked fascinating because it was so decorative. There was also some shops inside where all the girls tried on sari’s which I really enjoyed. There was also many pretty gardens and courtyards but this place did not interest and excite me as much as other places have.

Later on we travelled to the market. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Many small shops with people haggling and selling all sorts of interesting peices of clothes, machinery, food and more. Here I bought spices and ended up purchasing my own sari in pink and blue.

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In the evening we all decided to go see a Bollywood film, as this would be a new experience. This cinema in jaipur called Raj Man Dir, was meant to be famous for its ornately decorations. We saw a film called Kaabil which was about a blind man finding love with a blind women. Because it was in Hindi I didnt understand much of it, but basically the outline of the movie was, another man wanted his wife and because he couldn’t have her, he raped her. She ended up killing herself and he ended up getting revenge on all the people involved in it. The atmosphere of the cinema was interesting because every now and then people would just cheer and shout out loud, It was lively. I found it really entertaining and the movie was very dramatic but defiantly worth a watch if anyone gets the chance to see this.

After we left the cinema we walked with our tour guide to find the coach to take us home. But for some reason we saw a wedding and he invited us in. It ended up with us all getting on stage to take photos with the bride and groom, which was hilarious and good fun, but made no sense whatsoever. Some ended up inviting us for food but we obviously had to get home. It was a good experience and some of the photos look brilliant.

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Busy but fantastic day. Opportunities that are not to be missed.

India- Day 2

This morning we went to create paper at a small factory called one of the “most eco-friendly paper in the world” according to the owners Facebook, I’m actually unsure of the name. But this was a group workshop where we made paper out of elephant poo. When we first arrived we were welcomed at the door by the owners family including his young daughter who presented us each with flowers as a welcome gift.

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This workshop was a really interesting idea that is obviously very low cost because elephant dung is easy to find here in India, mixing it 25% cotton to make the perfect mixture. we all got the chance to create paper placing the mixture into water and string it over a frame. Then we pulled the frame up creating a perfectly flat surface and covering it with organza/silk and flipping it onto the surface and draining the water from it. It was just like we had done previously at uni, and when we were doing it, I didn’t even think about it being elephant dung because it didn’t smell at all and the surface of the finished paper were really nice.

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India- Day 1

The first day we spent in India was jam packed full of exciting opportunities to explore some of the city of Jaipur’s culture.

First of all we took the coach to the Amber Fort. However, the Amber Fort was at the top off the hill so we got dropped off at the bottom and needed to find transport up to the top. We walked past the elephants which were taking people up the hill. They were beautifully covered in brightly patterned face paint and colourful fabrics. Although I was very against riding an elephant, but I do understand this is a different culture with different values and respects for animals. 20170124_105442.jpg

we ended up finding jeeps that groups of 6 could ride up the hill in. Attempting to continue this time lapse video thing I created a video of us going up the hill in the jeep which I found very fun. Although bumpy it was a great experience.

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Travelling to India

As you can see I’m currently travelling a lot, but this time its part of my field project to travel to India for 12 days to experience another culture and respond in a visual way. I’m so fortunate that I am able to travel so much at such a young age, I would have never dreamed of being able to travel to India of all places.

However, the journey there was like nothing I have ever experienced before. First of all we took a coach from Cardiff Metropolitan Llandaff campus to Heathrow airport, which took around 3 hours. When we arrived at the airport we were then told there was a flight delay, which delayed us for roughly 3 hours. We eventually got on the flight which was relatively quick for me because I was able to sleep for most of the flight. 8 hours later we arrived in New Delhi airport, only to be delayed again by a missing suit case. Another 3 hours later we were all set to get on the coach and take the long journey to Jaipur, with a few stops along the way this took another 6 hours. Making the total travel time 23+ hours from Cardiff to India, but we made it.

Take a look at this Video I have created of the journey. Its taken me a while to figure out the editing software, however I think this has turned out quite well. This is a step towards my final outcome for this project of creating something visual, taking a look into videoing software and photography.

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Welcome to India- Onwards and upwards on our cultural journey.