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Art Originates From a Place of Longing : Sandhya Ramachandran

She writes, sketches, doodles, takes amazing photographs and makes movies – in short, she’s a creative powerhouse. Meet Sandhya Ramachandran, one of Spark’s first contributors. Sandhya has charmed us with her beautiful verse and splendid artwork that interpret our monthly themes in very different light, very artistically. She also designed the absolutely stunning coverpage art for our very special 50th issue. We must say we are a big fan of her art – her doodles and her experiments with mixed media brim with the sort of creativity that we love to feature in Spark.
An interview with Sandhya Ramachandran.

You are a creative powerhouse – stories, poetry, haikus, sketches – name it and you have done it. But if you had to choose one form, which would it be?
I cannot choose one; I don’t think I can do justice to any medium entirely – there is so much to learn and work on! Hence I dabble with multiple media. However, due to the nature of my work and experience, words are probably what I am stronger at. Yet, I cannot choose between words and images. All art forms are precious!

What are your earliest memories of writing?
It was a poem that went something like “Butterflies come in many colours and they love to fly to flowers”. I was 10 years old at that time.

Coffee stain sketches, black ink doodles – when did you start exploring these art forms?
I think art originates from a place of longing. It may be any form of longing – and not necessarily something negative – for love, for a better today or tomorrow, as therapy, as a constant need to express. I began to sketch profusely after I joined my post-graduation course in Film and Video Communication. Personal struggles, homesickness, an exposure to a totally vibrant culture, a need to express and the birth of a new experimental streak are what I believe may have caused this.

Your poetry and art have a sort of ethereal quality to them. How much of your real state of mind do these reflect?
I believe sometimes the veil on universal truth is lifted and once in a while we all get glimpses of it that inspires us to express through art. I only write or sketch when the feeling seizes me. If my works have managed to translate this moment, then I feel great knowing that! Thank you! 🙂

What are the things that inspire Sandhya to pick up the pen and write or sketch?
I think it is my sensitivity to things and this is both a good and bad thing. When I was younger, I used to feel exhausted because of the fact that everything prodded my spirit. Also, I wrote a lot of trash! Now, I channelize my efforts a lot better, I think and only stuff that really overwhelm me end up as art.

You are also into moviemaking. At the point where you are, how do you visualise your ideal movie? What would it be about? What roles, if any, would writing or art play in your characters’ lives?
There is no ‘ideal anything’, for me! I think the constant quest to reach that benchmark is what everything is about – art, life, love! My films will be about these struggles, aspirations and journeys. I don’t think there is any particular film I want to make and then hang my boots and say “I am done!” I would like to believe that as long as we are alive, there is scope for more art and expression.
My writing and art play a huge part in all the short films I have made, although I think I have only just begun the marriage of these elements. So there is so much out there I want to capture through my camera that is hopefully backed by good writing and expressed artistically!

Finally, you’re one of the founding team members of Spark. What do you have to say about the journey in the five years?
Like I always say – inspiration hits us all but to sustain and see it through to fruition is no mean task. You guys have been doing it for five whole years within your busy lives and delivering consistently! Spark stands as a great example of pursuing a passion with a lot of discipline. I only see better times ahead for Spark where it continues to converse through engaging writing and keeps the fire burning within us!

Sandhya Ramachandran is a storyteller who loves to tell her stories in words, images, film, doodles and other mediums of expression she can find.

Questions by Vani Viswanathan

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