In a year where each day feels longer than usual, what does one do with the extra hours of sunlight on June 21? Solstice, comes from the Latin words for, ‘sun stands still’. On June 21 (Summer Solstice) at around noon, the sun reaches its highest point, and then refuses to move for a while. For centuries, cultures around the world have celebrated these celestial events in different ways. Each year, at the ancient site of Stonehenge (one of the 7 wonders of the world) in England, visitors love to witness the sunrise right through the central stone. But if you are in a city that falls on the Tropic of Cancer – ( places in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand , West Bengal, Tripura or Mizoram ) – you’ll notice that at the stroke of noon, there would be no shadows!
At the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, one pillar of the Misra Yantra casts absolutely no shadow – and is a wonder in itself!
Discover more about the Jantar Mantar here
(includes paper templates on building a 3-D version of this UNESCO World Heritage Site!)
Along with the summer solstice, we also celebrate International Day of Yoga on 21 June. Our favourite asana? The one in which you sit in front of your laptop, looking at art! So join in, relax yourselves and take a deep look into the evolution of Yoga – through art! Or you could look at these pictures by the American photojournalist Eliot Elisofon, clicked in 1949 for LIFE Magazine – and marvel in disbelief!
Museums Last Week:
The Udaipur Palace has been the subject of many paintings , prints and photos. But we particularly dig this 21st century psychedelic recreation of the Udaipur City Palace.
We also find the latest animation series, “Reimagine”, by Sarmaya-India very refreshing! Through these short videos, they indulge us in a time-travel across genres using objects from their collection.
From our Community:
Textile artist Akash Patwal created this stunning embroidery based on a 19th century Pahari painting. See more pictures here.
This meme by Anonymous says it on behalf of all of us! Coping with the times is a huge challenge right now : the list of unfinished work just increases the worry. This is the feeling that prompted our self-care post (featured in the end).
From the Archives:
As the monsoons take over, how can we not remember Ramgopal Vijaivargiya’s paintings based on Kalidas’ Medghdoot – a tale of separation and longing of lovers during the romantic monsoon season.
In case you missed this:
Art+Feminism has launched an open call for an art commission. Two selected artists will receive $2000 each to develop an artwork. More information here; if you have questions, join in for an Instagram Live session on June 23, at 7:30pm India time. Deadline to apply is August 16, 2021
Deviprasad Roy Chowdhury’s sculptures are iconic works of art, but they also capture some of the key moments in Indian history. The Patna sculpture featuring a student protest is particularly poignant.
Instagram : Post of the Week!
We took that much needed break, and already feel better!
The Heritage Lab ended up making a splash in several publications over the month, and we are delighted to welcome a lot of you who are reading the newsletter for the first time.
Spotted something fascinating from a gallery, museum, archive or library? Whether it’s a link, image or story, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected]. Thanks for reading!