Twinkle Banerjee is a photographer who works between digital and alternative photographic processes. Originally from India, she migrated to Canada in 2010 and has called it her home ever since. Her practice swings between exploring melancholic aesthetics and modern-day concepts. More recently, Twinkle was featured in the @ICP Global Images for Global Crisis exhibition in New York City and she is currently working on a few personal projects. Twinkle is passionate about climate change and food activism and is pursuing these issues to bring them to the forefront through her work. In the future, she also hopes to document rural and folk culture in India that is diminishing as a result of rapid globalization.
Ten years ago I moved to Calgary (a city in western Canada) from India, where, like virtually every country around the world, large populations live in cities built of concrete. This insidious substance has shaped the contours of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Paris, Rome, New York, Tokyo and Moscow. But, for the inhabitants of these dense urban places, for whom daily life revolves around the same familiar streets and structures, the vegetation that crops up in and around the margins of buildings and sidewalks offers visual relief and mental respite from the great grey mazes we occupy. Locked down, sheltering in place like so many in the time of a worldwide pandemic, the restrictions of my own movement—day after day, week after week, month after month—inspired a series on observation: an intensification of the contrast between the built environment and nature (if it can still be called that), and where people fit. In 'Grey Area,' occasional color photographs of a garden at nighttime surprised me as I followed the succession of photograms of vegetation against concrete. The surreal quality of the almost black-and-white photograms is magnified against the dream-like effect of the flowers’ colors in the blackness of night. Taken in its totality, it is an expression of that psychological grey area we navigate as we do our cityscapes.