by verse bridge arts
While the arts and sciences often seem poles apart, there are some who cross the divide. Alan Lightman, the first professor at MIT to hold a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities, is one of the best-known, and has explored the overlap in the bestselling novel Einsteina��s Dreams,
as well as the poem Song of Two Worlds. Profoundly moved by Lightmana��s writing, first-year Srishti student Derek Domnic Da��Souza penned illustrations inspired by the poem, which will now be published in a new, visual edition of the classic work.
Taken by the sensitivity and maturity of Da��Souzaa��s work, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology tutor Ajai Narendran took the step of emailing Lightman with some samples. a�?Ita��s not very often that I do something like that, but I could see from Dereka��s illustrations that the poem had really gone through him,a�? says Narendran, adding that Lightman replied a�?almost immedi
atelya��, expressing interest in the pen and ink drawings. a�?He immediately understood the immense relevance of the illustrations, and suggested using them in a new edition of the poem,a�? Narendran elaborates. To be published by LA-based Red Hen Press, the final book will include Da��Souzaa��s original illustrations, as well as nine more specially commissioned by the publisher. a�?I was surprised but also pleased that they didna��t ask me to change anything, as it was a very personal response. Ia��ve been given complete creative freedom,a�? adds Da��Souza.
While Da��Souzaa��s art has a strong connection with Lightmana��s words, there is also an intensely personal element
to the drawings. a�?I always draw inspiration from reflections, memories and dreams. Ita��s like putting down a part of myself on paper even though I am illustrating a passage,a�? says the student. Explaining that Song of Two Worlds always had an a�?Indian connecta�� Lightman shares that he was originally inspired by Tagorea��s Gitanjali collection, and describes Da��Souzaa��s illustrations as a�?imaginative and wonderfula��. Both Lightman and his young protA�gA�e are keen to print in multiple languages and editions, and are currently seeking partnerships with Indian publishers for a local edition. Lightman also hopes to visit the city to connect with both Da��souza and the Srishti student community.
a��Maegan Dobson Sippy