Visions of India and Nepal by Sabine Thiel.

Sabine’s love affair with India started when she was still at school, listening to older friends who had travelled overland to the Subcontinent tell how the magic of India and Nepal had transformed their lives. She was transfixed by the tales of mystery, beauty and spirituality, and she knew that one day she would have to go and experience it for herself.

That day came in 1979 after a university research trip to Nagaland, one of India’s remote and hard-to-enter eastern states, failed to get its necessary permits, leaving her alone and stranded in Calcutta. Instead of flying home to Germany, she realised the opportunity she had been given, grabbed her backpack and camera, and set off by herself into the heartland to experience the country’s myriad cultures and landscapes in what was the first of many journeys to these ancient lands.

“I loved that trip. I had a guardian angel on my shoulder the whole time,” explains Sabine. “When you travel on your own you have a chance to really dip into the culture and feel people and places very intensely. You feel deeply connected and it becomes very magical and spiritual. That is why I have the urge to go again and again.”

The photos in this essay are from her last trip to India and Nepal in October 2013, when Sabine experimented with dramatic colours, something that she feels is extremely well-suited to the amazing motifs of not only the people, but also the landscapes, art, architecture and light that you find right across the whole of Asia.

“With my photos I hope to build a bridge. I feel each situation deeply, take the photo and hope that other people will feel that magic too. And of course I do it for myself. When I look into my photos my breathing changes, I feel what I felt at the time I took the photo and it makes me so very happy.”

Sabine Thiel’s photography will be on show at the Tirta Naga
Gallery in Bali from the middle of April.
Contact the gallery for details.

Tirta Naga Gallery,
Jl. Petitenget 198, Petitenget (between Hu’u Bar and Bambu restaurant)
+62 (0)361 473 5917.