This body of work was made during Kolari’s stay at the prestigious Glenfiddich Artist in Residency Programme in 2011. First held in 2002 by William Grant & Son’s Chairman, Charles Grant Gordon, the program is part of Glenfiddich’s commitment to encouraging individuals to delight in life’s adventures. Each year, Glenfiddich invites 7-8 artists from around the world to spend 3 months of the summer at the distillery to produce original pieces, in a variety of media, from photography to fashion.
“Half Life is about my transition from a path of chaos to one of healing. For the past two decades, I have been running away from phantoms within. The healthy parts of my life that used to enrich it fell away-family, friends, love. I found myself in a space between worlds, a visitor to everything around me, a stranger to my own life. I realised a crossroads was approaching, a choice to be made. I took the route that curved back into me, threading the fractured parts of myself back into place. The complex nature of the imagery portrays the nature of my own mind. I have been lost inside a maze of thoughts, attempting to make sense of everything twisted and tangled.”
Srikanth Kolari 2012
Sri is an accidental photographer. He hails from Thrissur in Kerala, but as a 14-year-old shifted base to Chennai. He had earned a sports scholarship there and he used that as an ‘excuse’ to leave home and leave behind the disturbing memories. He was training to be an athlete but an injury when 19 forced him to quit sports. For the next few years he wandered aimlessly, although he had registered himself for a BA in History at the Madras Christian College. History surely was not his calling. When he confessed this to a friend he initiated him to industrial photography. He was nearly bored to death with it. Then he worked as an assistant to a wildlife photographer, where he says he made some progress with his photographic skills. He did not hang on there for long either, he took to fashion photography because livelihood issues had cropped up by then. When he turned 25 a fancy idea struck him: That he should lead a ‘normal’ life. By which he meant he should marry, arrange for a monthly salary and settle down. He did land up with a job in Outlook, the national newsmagazine. But within two years he knew he was a freer spirit and could not stick to a given framework. He quit his job and began to travel across the world on a self-discovery trip and soon saw himself being led to the threshold of what you see here.