In November 2017 Lachie traveled the 2,510 km length of one of the world’s most sacred rivers, the Ganges. The intention of the journey was to travel from source to sea and to document the diverse landscapes and lives that the river touches.
The journey truly started at Gohmuk, or “the cow’s mouth”, where the source of the river spills out from the Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand, India. The river at this point is named Bhagirathi. In Hindu mythology Bhagiratha was a great king who brought the river Ganges, personified as the river goddess Ganga, to Earth from the heavens. Like 90 percent of glaciers worldwide the Gangotri Glacier is retreating at an alarming rate. Sources suggest the Gangotri Glacier has retreated over 3km since 1817.
Millions bathe in the Ganges daily, not to clean dirt from the skin but to wash away impurities of the soul and sins. At Devprayag - images 4, the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda marks the exact point on the map where the Ganges commences. Here Lachie bathed with pilgrims and got a taste of the undeniable power of this holy river.
Throughout the journey Lachie notes the contradiction of love for this river; to wear shoes in or near the Ganga is to step on your mother’s head but the Ganges is also one of the most heavily polluted waterways on the planet. In 2017 the Ganges was the first non-human entity to be granted the same legal rights as a person in India.
The colours of Lachie’s images portray the journey of the river from the pure blues of the source, to the energy and fertility of the greens, the purity and submission to “the mother” of the whites, and to the final saffron image where the river is reaching the end of its life at the Bay of Bengal.
Lachie completed the journey with the support of the Olympus Vision Project. Proceeds from the images sold will contribute to building a water health centre in Gujarat, Western India.
- Words courtesy of the artist
See the exhibition on right now in Melbourne. Details below:
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