Sandra Djina Ravalia
I crave for sacred in creation, I search for spirituality in humans and objects : I track down the mysterious and the invisible.
My quest is simple: succeed in digging out the deeply hidden personal, universal or ancestral elements. Bring them up to the surface and lay them on the canvas. Often, associations will be contradictory, even incompatible in my head, only to find later on to my great surprise, that they all blend in perfectly when applied to the canvas.
At the beginning of each painting, I have a vision, a desire.
I study it, draw it, capture its essence… and I start.
During the creative process, I discard some decisions and put faith in risk.
I have a personal vocabulary related to the process: for example, the canvas can become «stone», «wood», «metal» or even «tar»… These are my core landmarks. I then start using brushes, knives, my fingers, plaster, string, cotton, straw, metal, gold to get where I want to. Nothing repels me. I am highly motivated, open minded and curious about everything. Therefore, I take advantage of all the treasures nature can offer, such as rough pigments, precious or completely unusual metals.
I have a passion for the different cultures of the world starting with my own, India. Also Africa, having been raised at l’Île de la Réunion, a French island located south-east of the African coast. Living in Canada for the last ten years, I have learned to appreciate occidental contemporary art.
Relying on my life experience and my interests, I try to find in the creative process, a balanced mixture between my roots and my apprenticeship and I also try to explore the intangible and the timelessness.
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What I listen to while I paint varies widely, but I often listen to a single CD when I am creating … and this can go on for a very long time.
Some examples: experimental sounds from Sketch Book. The melodic flowing lines of Chopin’s Nocturnes. The simple fervour of the Creole Mass.
In my studio, a small boombox found it’s place amid my paint brushes and my easel…
When I leave my studio to take a break, I listen to a variety of world music on a high-end sound system.
The first time I listened to music on this system, I remember staying put for two straight hours without pronouncing a word, my legs crossed. I remember having vividly visualized the chalk writing on the blackboard while listening to Andrea Vollenweider’s Book of Roses. The effect was so tactile and striking.
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