Photographer and collagist Rashmi Talpade conducted a workshop with Loomis Chaffee students on December 6, in conjunction with an exhibition of her work in the Sue and Eugene Mercy Jr. Gallery in the Richmond Art Center.
The workshop focused on the process and thinking that go into creating a collage with photographs and the exhibit, Urban Legends in Modern Archaeology, shows some of the outcomes of that process.
Ms. Talpade, who studied at Sir J.J. School of Fine Art in Mumbai, India, and moved to Connecticut 30 years ago, has focused on drawing, painting, and printmaking during her art career, but she always has come back to photography as the basis for her work.
“When I start with a photograph that might inspire me, I just take it from there,” she said. The photographs she uses for her collages do not need to relate or even be similar to one another. “I like to create my own world,” she added.
According to her website, Talpade describes her work as speaking about history, humanity, and our place in it: “They are amalgamations of reconstructed landscapes that illustrate cultural history and its decline as well as modern development. … The viewer must engage with the work, or they will miss the details that reveal the optical play of visual depth, challenging perspectives and fictionalized worlds. It is essential to stand back and maintain a necessary distance to understand how the work multiplies spatially to create a complete image.”
Freshman Iris Sande, a participant in the workshop, said they were inspired by the exhibit and the workshop to take a more unplanned approach to their own art.
“Rashmi Talpade’s collages are seamless,” they added. “The way she combines photos taken across the world into a central, beautiful image is wonderful.”
The exhibition, which opened on November 11, will run concurrently with a showcase of student artwork on display in the Barnes and Wilde galleries through January 26, 2022.