Scientists "transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into the seas." - Rebecca Solnit
As a doctor I see my world as a blend of art and science. The truth of medical practice lies beneath each research study, each drug, cure, and piece of knowledge. The truth is a person’s story. And each story is amplified when it has been given the room to be told. The universality of air, soil, and water is our shared existence. The people that I have had the privilege to care for have taught me that science without art is an empty promise.
My medium for reflecting and sharing what I seek to understand and explore in this world is my camera. I am grateful to be able to see the world through so many metaphorical and physical lenses.
I come to experience life when I slow down to notice the subtleties of light, emergence of reflections, depths of shadows, the intensities and softness of color, and the variable movement of the wind. It is with a camera in hand when I see the world without distraction. When I take a photograph, I blend the line between what I am seeing and what I am feeling. I use motion blur and multiple exposure techniques to create abstract landscapes that express the stories that are found within the human experience. - Nima Desai
During the COVID-19 pandemic I have moved through emotions of isolation, loneliness, fear, and resilience. As a doctor, I saw my hospital change from the noise and feeling of city streets bursting with families and loved ones visiting and caring for those that are hospitalized, become empty hallways due to visitor restrictions created to protect those same loved ones. The people inside, patients and healthcare workers alike, became silenced and distanced from the world outside.
The American porch is an architectural concept that began during the early days of trade, with travelers moving from the Caribbean to the rest of the states with wares for trade. The safety of trading on the front porch was also used as a safety to decrease the spread of disease. In the 1950's the front porch moved to the back porch as an area of respite and relaxation.
In 2020, my screened porch became my place of refuge. It became my place to explore shadows, raindrops hitting shrubs that would then brush against the screen in the wind. Between the screen and me I felt protected as I witnessed the sunlight, the storms, and nature continuing with its daily song. The concept of inside and out, fading, moments of blurred reality, and a screened in distancing from others began to formulate as a project as I took photographs within my refuge.
The photographs in this project run from the early hush that fell when we were all in solitude together, locked away from the world. There was something in that silence that allowed for a moment of stillness and reflection of what matters most in life. The images that are part of this project move from moments of reflection to the new rhythms of a day in a new reality, and into the tapestry of thoughts on where we go from here.