Gayswans is a depiction and awareness of my own self. The project underlines the spirituality you find in your inner self while looking past the banality of your routine. The effort of finding sexual persuasion and embracing oneself to the bone within the cemented walls of the places which I inhabited within myself and around me was the birth of self-appreciation depicted through the body of work. Self-portraits can be perceived as a narcissistic act wherein I come from a place of owning that narcissism and the acceptance of the body I am in. The age-long sexualisation of the most common thing among homo-sapiens, their bodies, has baffled me. While residing in a small town, within the hostel dorms I started capturing the surreal human forms. Finally finding the passion in self-portraits, a series comprehending the congeniality of dealing with my own skin and the nuances of the home which were sought within the body I called ‘haven’. It is vague when you feel empowered by being in your own skin, many call it nudity, but what’s more pure and artistic is creating oneself through phases of the shutter and thus bringing out sublimity of the art within ourselves. Mine, is a pursuit owing to the interest in the skin humans carry, the marks on the bodies like the bark of trees and a pinhole into the mind, skin and the sexuality of oneself. Self-love is often defined as an unjustified feeling of being pleased with oneself rather than nurturing one’s grace. But ours is a sacred body, a body to be christened till it’s given away to be “utilized”, a body not celebrated, a body left undecided. The project is definitive of freedom, with no inhibitions, not even the societal veil described as clothes, freedom which surpasses human behaviour and reaction, freedom in the flesh and bone. The Gay Swans, an image you find hanging in the corridors of cheap hotels and guesthouses of two swans in affection. The reference of swans has always been associated with ravishing other beings and what prospers is the idea of beauty coincided with love.
Elina Banerjee is a photographer currently based in Nation’s Capital, professionally a lawyer and ecstatically a photographer/artist who shoots self-portraits. Photography was never an elaborate beginning but an inquisitive step to understanding the human forms and differentiation of thoughts. It started with the child-like attempt at capturing the most minimalistic of being present and visible to the naked eye and growing into a much-needed curbing of a lacuna called curiosity. With photography, the artist wishes to bring forward the images of not what one sees or grows to believe but what one experiences, an attempt to resonate with what one never says.