Look Up


I always tend to look up each time I walk into a new building, a new space, or a new environment. This habit has given rise to my fixation with ceilings. Anybody who has peeped into my camera will vouch for this.

Why do I look up all the time? For some of finest expressions of humanity’s artistic endeavours are to be found in ceilings, for example chapels, train stations and museums.

The ceiling is coveted by artists as it is the perfect canvas for one’s masterpiece. Like the sky itself, the ceiling is free, free from the constraints of human interference or judgement; it is too high to be touched until the artist makes it her property.

In an allegorical sense, the ceilings one comes across can be understood as the varied interpretations different people have of what is above, of what lies beyond the physical realm.

In re-imagining the ceiling, the artist has complete freedom to show us her understanding of the world — what she wants us to see of her interpretation.

In another sense, ceilings stand as barriers between us and the sky or the realm above. Another way is to look at them is as a cover, protecting us from the wrath of the world above and beyond it; rain, lightning and thunder in a physical sense and the fear of the unknown in a more abstract sense.

In a way, the simple ceiling deserves much more credit than we give it. So the next time you visit a place, look up.


– Kaveri Rai 11 ISC S



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