Bahrain photographer launches debut exhibition at Janabiya's InTouch Gallery
Time Out Bahrain staff
We catch up with the Bahrain-based photographer, as she launches her debut solo exhibition at Janabiya’s InTouch Gallery.
How did get into photography in the first place?
I’m retired and I’ve been living here in Bahrain for over 30 years. When I retired I thought ‘Oh this is my chance now to have my dream life!’ I took an online course for the basics of photography and bought myself a DSLR camera. Then I booked a ‘Creative Escapes’ holiday – they’re based out of London and they do photography holidays with a tutor.
You’re always learning with photography but it’s my passion and it really keeps me busy now that I’m retired. Sometimes I think I have less time now than when I was working [laughs].
What inspired this latest exhibition? It’s an eclectic mix of photographs from my travels. I called it ‘Journeys’ because it’s the journeys to these places but it’s also my journey in photography. I’m getting more into portraits now so I feel it also tells the journey of the people in the photos.
What kind of imagery can people expect to see? Quite a lot from India. When I started out I was really into landscapes because I didn’t have the courage to do street photography, because you have to approach somebody.But since going on the Creative Escapes courses, I feel more confident with it. It doesn’t matter if someone says ‘no’ because the next person will probably say ‘yes’.
So I’m getting more into street photography and social comment. For instance, on my last trip to Kerala, we went to this place where they make the coir – the bristly rope they make down there from coconut husks. These factories are Dickensian and the conditions are awful but I really like to go into those kinds of places to highlight what other people have to go through in life.
Well, that will have an impact on people. That’s what I hoped. You just feel a bit more grateful for what you have. It was quite amazing. I really like the nitty gritty of getting into that.
So your inspiration is changing day by day? Yes. I think when you’re looking through a camera lens, you really see things in detail. It’s not just physical things – you’re looking at everything.
Where do you enjoy taking shots in Bahrain? There’s some really great places like the old pearling trail in Muharraq. I quite like doing architecture as well, like the old doorways. These sell quite well – because I sell prints, greeting cards, mouse pads, coasters, post cards.
What advice would you give someone wanting to turn photography into a career? I think the way I did it was perfect. Take an online course to understand the basics. Then join a group, go on a photography holiday, or even join a group here. You can learn so much from other people, especially when there are other people learning and you help each other along. Go for it. Enjoy it. It’s a wonderful thing to do. ‘Journeys’ exhibition is on until August 31. InTouch Integrated Chiropractic Spine Centre, Al Wesam Centre, Janabiya(1769 0100). Visit www.gayebentham.com.