By Ambica Gulati June 2000 An American by birth, married to a German and living in India, Sandra M. Schweppe expresses her inner quest in pen-and-ink drawings Little dots of white, little dots of black—and a shape takes form. One prick of a needle and from a leaf emerges a hand. Fairy hands, healing hands. They hold you, guide you, give you solace in bad times. Lovingly, they caress your face. They force you to look into your heart, mind and soul. You pensively look over the woods, searching for the real you. Your myriad faces stand out. Three of them. Is that you? Then who is that other one? Finally they merge in one. Are all three the real you? ‘If only my roots were as deep as the ancient tree,’ you wonder.‘Man is inseparable from nature,’ explains Sandra M. Schweppe. ‘I’ve always seen us humans as a part of nature. But most of us don’t understand it.’ So evolved a series of pen-and-ink drawings. ‘Most artistes perceive the solid form. I was looking at the microscopic level of things, so I opted for these pen-and-ink drawings. These little dots explain our existence on earth: small energy particles make up the larger energy framework.’ Sandra’s husband, Walter, is the director of languages at the Max Mueller Bhavan, the German cultural center in New Delhi, India. She has traveled extensively all over the world and in India. Yet the quest continues. You search in the circle, knotted with the various aspects of life. Little knots of your daily life, and big knots of your life beyond life. So difficult, yet so facile. For it’s a circle, it ends where it starts. But you have to reach that center. Your hands reach for that center in which lie all the mysteries of life. Encircle that center, let it not escape, for all the answers are there. ‘We’re constantly besieged by feelings of fear, anger or sorrow. I wanted to show how to let go of it. I didn’t want to draw anything shocking, I wanted to draw something that heals. Something that would make sick people happy and give them hope,’ says Sandra. Even that trail of snails, they are also after that circle. Lend not your hands, lest the circle escapes. Is this quest for us humans alone or can the animal kingdom claim a share? And inanimate objects too? Those pretty seashells, see how they call to each other. The waves of the ocean in their heart, in the core of their being. Turbulent, frenzied and then the eternal calm. They are washed to the seashore, collected by humans. ‘I always felt that nature can uplift. It can give positive energy, which all of us require,’ elucidates Sandra. Still, that quest, that burning desire to unravel the mystery—it’s everywhere. In the skies, on earth, in the water depths. Stop that wind, else it will blow the quest away. But you don’t rest, search on in another land. For by ‘being one with nature, being positive, you can heal yourself and others’.
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