Sketching Impressions…

I created various sketches to represent performances unique to a community, my cohabitants, trees, and plants, along with their profiles. It was one thing to be familiar with what I was drawing, but capturing the intricacies of an object made it feel as if I were watching it for the first time.

I started with performances unique to the community for which I chose Dhunuchi Dance and Dhaki. I have witnessed these performances since my early childhood; hence, I have a close association with them. Despite this, I had to look into certain details to provide certainty to my memories. The sketches helped me develop a connection between my memories and the authenticity of those memories.

I had to research these performances in terms of the costume, the accessories, the place of the performance, the props, etc. The research further led me to the background of the performers, their culture, and what makes them unique. I feel the more I knew about it, the more details I was able to cover in my sketches. The Dhunuchi Dance is usually performed in open/semi-open spaces near or usually in front of the Durga Puja deities in Pandals (temporary sheds). The performers along with the Dhakis gather and perform together.

I also represented vegetation elements through sketches which I feel can make or break a space. Talking about my selected site, I feel a sense of barrenness to it due to the lack of trees. On the other hand, while I was working on the vegetation sketches based on observations within my neighborhood, a presence of life is felt. The uncontrolled growth of plants/trees creates their own character and the surroundings get a life of their own.

Within my site, I feel that introduction of vegetation will play a major role in my design. I also think that there can be hide-and-seek spaces that can be created using different types of trees to introduce playfulness to the site. I feel that each tree/plant will have a different size and shape of the foliage and will further also contribute to the creation of shaded spaces. The randomness in the growth of a tree will make its own path and define the space differently. I was also wondering if the trees themselves can be used as a natural boundary to the site, separating it from the surrounding areas.

For sketching my cohabitants along with their profiles, there was a need for quick and apt observations. Sketching the cohabitants made me realize that, while I was familiar with their routines, I had never observed them in the way I did. Even when I wasn’t interacting with the person I was sketching, it was clear whether he or she was serious and under pressure to complete a task, or if he or she was relaxing. There was a significant difference between the upright and relaxed postures of an individual.

When I started with the profiles, the relevance of the details in a sketch became clearer. While attempting the profiles, there were a lot of choices to be made. It was up to me to decide the details I wanted to hold on to and let go. The idea was to make sure that my sketch is identifiable even if a person is not familiar with the story behind it.

Overall, the sketching led me to explore different mediums to capture certain observations. The mediums that are my friends while the mediums I am not comfortable with. It also helped me understand the type of detail that can be depicted using certain mediums. The sketches require smooth lines, hard lines, or strokes.

To summarize, there is an overlapping connection that is formed between the different representations. Connecting the results to my site, to create a place of performance, this connection will have to be brought to life. The type of space required for a performance, whether it is solo or a group performance; the type of audience to be expected; how the space being open or closed impacts the performers and the audience; how the character of space changes altogether because of the presence of different types of vegetation; To establish a relationship with my site, I feel these questions have come into being. The representations brought out a rough idea of the elements I will have to incorporate into my design and the impact they will have on my site.