In a world where the hustle and bustle of city life often take center stage, there exists a hidden realm of breathtaking beauty, rich in ecological wonders and artistic inspiration.
The spectacular landscapes of the Sky Islands of South India are about to take the limelight as Ian Lockwood showcases the 'Sky Islands Exhibition: An Endangered Landscape' at the Dilip Piramal Photography Gallery at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai from November 23 to December 3, 2023.
Violet Lane | Ian Lockwood
This exhibition is an immersion into the ancient and fragile landscape that exists as a unique and isolated biodiversity hotspot in the Western Ghats. These Sky Islands, also known as 'Shola Sky Islands,' rise above the lower plains, creating their own secluded world. Here, Ian Lockwood's artistry breathes life into the ecology, the ever-changing panoramas, and the mystery of this special place.
Southern Escarpment Pan | Ian Lockwood
With a deliberate choice of black and white photography, Lockwood's work goes beyond mere imagery; it delves into the essence of the landscape. Each image captures the intricate relationship between nature and the city, highlighting the vital role these remote landscapes play in sustaining life in urban centres. Protecting these surroundings is not just an environmental concern; it's a matter of urban sustainability.
Each image within this collection bears witness to a 30-year artistic journey. While some offer familiar vistas from accessible locations, acquiring complex permits, days of trekking, and unwavering determination. These images tell the story of dedication, patience, and a deep connection to the Sky Island landscapes.
Rhododendron Arboreum Flower on Totapolakanda | Ian Lockwood
The Sky Islands, once nature's untouched treasures, have become landscapes in transition. The heart of Ian's work lies in documenting the transformation of this place. These sensitive habitats have witnessed the conversion of forests into agricultural and timber plantations.
Rapid urban development has eclipsed quaint townships, and rivers have been harnessed and redirected. Climate shifts, unpredictable rainfall, and biome changes now threaten those who depend on these hills for their livelihood and sustenance. These sensitive habitats in the Southern Western Ghats are on the cusp of profound change—a change that touches us all.
Eucaplytus on Perumal slope | Ian Lockwood
The Sky Islands Exhibition serves as a powerful reminder of the interplay between Mumbai and the pristine highland landscapes. It highlights the critical role these untouched forests play in safeguarding Mumbai’s resources, a fact acknowledged by PHCC (Palani Hills Conservation Council), and serves as a call to action for preserving these vital ecosystems.
Ian Lockwood in Kukkal | Ian Lockwood
Ian Lockwood, the visionary behind this exhibition, is more than an artist. He's an educator, a writer, and an advocate for South Asian culture and ecology. Talking about the Sky Islands, Ian Lockwood shares, "The Sky Islands have been my source of inspiration, and this body of work is a testament to my enduring fascination with this remarkable landscape. Through these photographs, I aim to communicate the profound ecological changes and the importance of their preservation."
KIS Campus Drone Shot | Ian Lockwood
This exhibition is an exploration of simplicity and depth, an intimate look at familiar hill stations like Kodaikanal, and a journey into lesser-known terrain that required years of dedication to access. The images unveil the familiar and the extraordinary with the same clarity, emphasizing the intrinsic beauty of the natural world.
The proceeds from the exhibition will be used to support the KIS Center for Environment and Humanity (KIS CEH) initiative. The KIS CEH program aims to educate and raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation. The funds raised will be utilized to train and support young individuals to advocate for environmental conservation.