Many Mauritians practice Indian classical dance (Kathak) forms, although I was never one of them. That wasn’t important in my family. However, you are influenced by it if you are what is known as “Indo-Mauritian” (ethnically from India, ancestors brought over during British colonialism). It’s a part of the larger culture.
While drawing, I considered the way the rhythm, melody, and dancer’s body must become one in any one of the complex dance forms. They’re considered to be very difficult to learn, and there is a constant struggle to make everything look flawless. I’ve heard “dance is worship” in dozens of Bollywood movies – I get it, I really do. Dance requires your absolute devotion and focus.
With such a link to the divine, I thought it fitting to represent the top of the dancer using a light bulb.
Another pencil sketch!
The power went out during one of the recent winter storms here. I found some Crayola Twistables I got as a gift some time ago and went to town. This is the one I liked most; the undersea sketch.
The sea…of course…
When I’m feeling ill, like I am today, I get nostalgic. Nostalgia is a powerful force! It can start up my inspiration.
I was reminded today that I used to draw mehendi-inspired designs all over the place when I was a pre-teen and teenager in Mauritius. I had already seen some of the beautiful motifs of the Indian subcontinent after living as a child for a few years in Oman. But it was when I hit double digits hit that I truly began to draw!
The motifs come up unconsciously when I doodle. Here I am using the inspiration consciously. It came with ease.
I don’t remember when I started drawing all of these sea creatures.
They flow very naturally out of me. Could it be the influence of Mauritius? Island belonging permeates through every part of you; island people can attest to that. It must be.
Or maybe it’s specifically my grandfather’s stories of finding beautiful shells in unattended coves. Stories he can still tell, although his mind is fading.
Why am I being so fussy? I know that it’s all of the above and everything in between.