> Disappearing Professions of Urban India

Clare Arni

01 March - 07 April, 2014

Disappearing Professions of Urban India is Clare Arni’s first solo show in Mumbai featuring digital photographs taken over the last six years across seven major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. The intention of the works is to explore the historical patterns of vanishing professions, their attempts to adapt to survive. Many of the skilled artisans documented are struggling, most said their children were not going to follow them into the profession and some have since ceased to be employed.

The selection of photographs at TARQ looks into the vibrant variety of people, textures and colours that we will be losing out on as these professions cease to operate. Clare is able to capture unique vistas of the cities she explores, looking not only at crafts that will be lost to us, but also sights, and places that are rapidly evolving into a colder, unfamiliar space.

The body of work is accompanied by narratives written by Oriole Henry, who, with the artist researched the professions traditionally associated with the city or state in question. In documenting both the show as well as the vanishing professions of a nation, TARQ is proud to publish, in collaboration with Spenta Multimedia, a catalogue of select works from the show, as well as their stories.

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Clare Arni

Clare Arni is a photographer based in Bangalore, India. Her work encompasses architecture, travel, social documentary and cultural heritage. She has been published by leading British book publishers Phaidon, Thames and Hudson and Dorling Kindersley. She has also contributed work to magazines like Abitare (Italy) Tatler, Conde Nast (UK) Wallpaper, The Wall street journal and Harvard Design magazine as well as many Indian magazines. Her solo photographic books document the history of the architecture of Banaras, Palaces of the Deccan, the recent excavations of Hampi, the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire and a four month journey along the course of the river Kaveri. Her solo exhibitions document the lives of marginalized communities in some of the most remote regions of India and the disappearing trades of urban India. Her work has been exhibited Internationally at the Essl Museum, Vienna Austria, Grosvenor Vadehra, London, Bose Pacia, New York, Berkeley art museum, California and is the permanent collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London, the Freer/Sackler gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


  • Photos: Wooden Shoe Maker and Calligrapher, India’s Dying Professions

    Clare Arni has spent seven years traveling across seven Indian cities -- Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and Goa -- capturing the changing urban landscape through the livelihoods of artisans, traders and laborers.

    The Wall Street Journal
    05 Mar 2014
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  • Clare Arni

    This project started when I realised that many professions in India had disappeared. Many urban trades, like the Delhi calligrapher or the Bangalore handloom silk-weaver were vanishing, along with mattress-fluffers and knife-sharpeners.

    Outlook Magazine
    01 Mar 2014
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  • Clare Arni in Colaba

    A 3000-sq-ft gallery , Tarq , opened in Colaba with celebrated photographer clare Arni's Disappearing profession of urban India on display

    04 Mar 2014
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  • Past Continuous

    An exhibition of Claire Arni's photographs , titled Disappearing professions of urban India was held at Tarq , a new gallery in Mumbai , from the 1st of march to the 7th of April .

    01 Apr 2014
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