When Akshay Mahajan from Printer’s Devil said that he had a few copies of his work titled “Holy Waters / The Ganges” to give away, I jumped on it. It arrived soon, folded neatly like a fresh newspaper on a summer afternoon.
In terms of the print, its designed much like a newspaper, printed on newsprint grade paper. Its 36 pages thick and printed as beautiful as a newsprint paper can be. The first thing which catches you is the bright yellow introduction and the very clean contemporary design. I like how Mahajan’s design is simple yet engaging and clean. Because the paper is thin, sometimes traces of the pictures to come in the next page create a sort of multiple exposure in the final print.
The project tells the story of towns and people around the Indian holy river Ganga, from its origin to the time it merges in the Bay Of Bengal, all 1200 miles of it. Mahajan’s story moves through the very changing nature of the river, transitioning from what we imagine about Ganga and what Ganga is in actuality.
Majahan does beautifully when it comes to tying together images from this widespread landscape. There is a very etherial quality about the pictures which masks the beautiful lingering criticality of this work. From the start itself, Mahajan makes the reader anxious with tension between faith and the gravity of existence in this land.
I really liked seeing through this body of work, its simple and absolutely beautiful. I really like that Mahajan made the effort of getting it printed in such a light and sublime way, encouraging the work to be seen far and wide. Mahajan has also been a huge part of another organisation called Blind Boys which promotes work to be printed and shown around, so you can see where this body of work hopes to do.