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A Wanderer's Eye - A Journey Into Sacred India

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by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
An Inspirational Evening With Photographer Jay Weinstein
A land of dramatic contrasts, fascinating cultures and vibrant colour, over the centuries India has captivated and inspired innumerable writers, artists and other creative souls with its magic. Mumbai-based photographer Jay Weinstein is no exception. Born in the US but raised in India, Jay has loved the country since his childhood, and now dedicates his life to sharing the beauty of his adopted homeland and its people through his photography.

Image courtesy of Jay Weinstein's website
Image courtesy of Jay Weinstein's website

Jay's current creative project is called So I Asked Them To Smile a comprehensive collection of exquisite photographs portraying some of the people he has met while 'on the road'- mainly in India, but also further afield. A veteran traveller who frequently ventures well off India's well-worn tourist trails, Jay's images depict people, both young and old, from all around the sub-continent and a diverse range of social backgrounds, focusing on the transformative power of a simple smile and how its warmth and humanity transcends both cultural and language barriers.

Image courtesy of the So I Asked Them To Smile Facebook page
Image courtesy of the So I Asked Them To Smile Facebook page

Each image has two parts. In the first, Jay presents a basic portrait of his subject, while the second depicts an almost identical image, albeit with the person smiling or, in more cases than not, beaming at the camera. Not only are these portraits beautiful and uplifting to look at, but it's also clearly apparent the incredible rapport that Jay has with the people who he is interacting with. Regardless whether they're holy men, street vendors or office executives, the power of a simple smile invariably transforms each individual, imbuing him or her with a beauty that is entirely independent of age, wealth and social status. Smiling is contagious too, and simply by seeing these beautiful images, the viewer also feels impelled to smile or at least that's the effect that they have on me.

Image courtesy of the So I Asked Them To Smile Facebook page
Image courtesy of the So I Asked Them To Smile Facebook page

Following the success of his latest public presentation, held in Cottesloe last month, this September Jay will be holding one more evening, titled 'A Wanderer's Eye' a name that aptly reflects his lifestyle as an itinerant artist. During this program Jay will present some of the amazing images that he has captured during his recent journeys, and share a few tales from his travels. Enhancing his exquisite images, there will also be guided meditations and melodic kirtan (traditional Indian spiritual singing), all topped off with a delicious vegetarian meal at the end of the evening.

Image courtesy of the Jay Weinstein Photography website
Image courtesy of the Jay Weinstein Photography website

A Wanderer's Eye will be held at 6pm on Saturday, September 17th, at Yogamat'ers - located at 116a Terrace Road in Guildford. Although admission is free, the organiser of the event, The Sacred India Gallery, is asking that guests register with them on their website. Since the venue is a yoga studio, numbers are limited, so it's strongly recommended that bookings are made as soon as possible. In addition, it also helps the caterers to know how many people to cook for.

Image courtesy of Jay Weinstein's website
Image courtesy of Jay Weinstein's website

Whether you're a yoga practitioner with a fascination for India's ancient spiritual traditions, photography enthusiast, armchair traveller, or mapping out your own extended journey throughout the sub-continent, 'A Wanderer's Eye' is certainly an event that is not to be missed. It's also a chance to take a peek at some of the images from Jay's absolutely awesome So I asked Them To Smile project. Jay will soon be leaving Perth to return to his travels, so this evening will be the last opportunity to see him before he resumes his exciting life of adventure.

For more information about A Wanderer's Eye, call the Sacred India Gallery on 0490 022 383, and to register, visit this webpage. For more information about Jay Weinstein and his photography, take a look at his website, and to learn more about his So I Asked Them To Smile project check out its website and Facebook page.
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Why? To experience an uplifting interlude amidst the sights and sounds of exotic India
When: Saturday, September 17th at 6pm
Phone: 0490 022 383
Where: Yogamat'ers Yoga Studio, 116a Terrace Road, Guildford
Cost: Free admission
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