Exhibition Review – People Of India

People of India, By Jason Scott Tilley


A wonderful series of images that tell us a story through three different time periods of work creating a historical archive; The People of India Publication 1868 – 1875, The Photographic Archive of Bert Scott 1913 – 1948, The Beautiful People by Jason Scott Tilley 1999 – 2009, with featured artefacts in display units which we felt contrasted well with his story as it complimented Tilley’s collection of work.

Jason’s individual work itself was stunning, brilliant high contrast, and well framed. Each image told a story with each individual portrait. The images themselves were thought out in the case of presentation. Tilley positioned his images in the gallery with width for text to title each body of work.  I felt the test helped me follow the image in a sequence as I walked round the gallery.

I personally felt that I gained an emotional connection to the work due to the discussion I had with Jason before viewing the images. This gave me an insight into his experience of walking in some of his grandfathers footsteps. This allowed the viewer of his work to get a background of his intentions with his portraits.

Having his grandfathers work and some of his personal family photographs meant that the audience could gain a deeper connection into why he followed this idea and what he aimed to get out of it.

The way the three separate time periods of work was positioned, was one thing I found questionable. Maybe if the exhibition had a structured order as to where to start and finish. The three bodies of work didn’t have a relation to each other.  Perhaps the exhibition could of worked without the images from The People Of Indian. However, I believe that having the three bodies of work presented together added historical meaning. As I mentioned, the experience could have been more structured due to the fact that there was no guide to what order the observer should view the work in, it was ‘go and explore’ more than a structure. This could have been more effective if the viewer knew which order the images should be viewed in.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time viewing Jason’s work today and would highly recommend for anyone to attend this exhibition to view  a great part of history as well as a lovely series of images. It’s great to see the contrast from the time periods and to see the development of time within his separate bodies of work. I would recommend anyone to talk to Jason and get an understanding to his work from his side!