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Artist’s Statement


‘Highland Homes: Picturing Dwelling in the Western Himalayas’ curates fifty photographs featuring the natural and cultural heritage of the Western Himalayas in India. Loosely divided into two parts, ‘Viewing’ and ‘Belonging’, the online exhibition primarily considers this vastly variegated terrain in terms of home and dwelling. The Western Himalayas comprise the whole state of Himachal Pradesh and partly the adjacent state of Uttarakhand, both of which have been collectively regarded since centuries as ‘Dev Bhoomi’, the ‘Land of the Gods.’ India being a largely tropical country, the Himalayas exert a special pull on the cultural consciousness of the country (and beyond), kindling impressions of grandeur, intimacy and toughness, all at one and the same time. The idea and practice of dwelling in the hills thus amalgamates all of these aspects, and at an experiential level, invariably lends itself to both realistic and imaginative configurations. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this geography is geography itself, that varies anywhere between a few hundred meters to over 7000 metres in altitude, and determines every other aspect of life and culture. 


This nature-culture interface via an aesthetic lens also informs the core objective of my two day international workshop ‘Ecology, Aesthetics and Everyday Cultures of Modernity’, to which the display runs parallelly as an affiliate event. I feel deeply grateful to present these selected images of a place I am privileged to call home, and to organize an event under the marvellous aegis of the Käte Hamburger Centre ‘global dis:connect’ in the capacity of a Fellow. 


As always, I am thankful to the many inspirations from whom I have learned the art and craft of perceiving the mountains and the world at large, including my family, friends, mentors, and the extraordinary creative visions of Robert Macfarlane, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Ludovico Einaudi.


Happy Viewing!



Artist's bio and contact


Siddharth Pandey hails from the Western Himalayas of India, and is a Fellow of the Käte Hamburger Centre ‘global dis:connect’, Munich. He holds a PhD in English Literature and Materiality Studies from the University of Cambridge (UK), where he was based as a Cambridge Commonwealth and Cambridge International Scholar from 2012-19. He has held numerous fellowships in global history, art history and cultural studies at Yale, LMU, the Paul Mellon Centre (London), and the Charles Wallace India Trust (London). He is the author of Fossil (2021), a geo-mythological-poetic work celebrating the Himalayas, which was published under the aegis of the global arts ‘Lost Rocks’ project by the Tasmania based publishers ‘A Published Event.’ Fossil was among the three shortlisted works for the 2022 Banff Mountain Fiction and Poetry Prize.


As a landscape photographer, Siddharth has held six solo exhibitions in India and the UK, and has worked as a commissioned photographer for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and Durham’s Oriental Museum, among other institutions. ‘Highland Homes’ is his seventh solo and first online display. 

He can be emailed at and also reached via his open-access Instagram account @shimlasiddharthpandey.

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