A poster of Pather Panchali by Ray.

A poster of Pather Panchali by Ray – BFI National Archive

The British Film Institute (BFI) is hosting a Satyajit Ray season and the first exhibition in the UK to highlight Satyajit Ray’s design works. The exhibition will be held at the BFI Southbank from 14 August until mid-October and is free for all.

Before Ray directed Pather Panchali in 1955, he worked as a graphic designer for an advertising agency in Kolkata and has designed many of the sets, costumes, credit sequences and posters for his own films.

A selection of the director’s poster designs will be on show in the Atrium at the BFI Southbank. It will include both original and facsimile posters, showcasing the best of Ray’s creations.

“Ray’s unique graphic style owed as much to Indian art and indigenous folklore as it did to Western traditions. His wide-ranging poster designs encompass surreal photographic collages, ornate portraits as well as bold, typographic experiments, their imagery and lettering borrowing from scenes and motifs in his cinema. Far more than just a beautiful, eye-catching advertisement, each poster offers Ray’s own interpretation of his film as he distilled it into one image,” quoted on the BFI website.

The exhibition has been organized by Isabel Stevens, Maggi Hurt and Claire Smith. The posters have been sourced from the BFI National Archive and the Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives and Ray Estate, Kolkata.