Gayathri Krishnaraj, a media student, talks about Open Sky, an initiative, which lives by the principle that art is for all.
For someone who promotes art, Gayathri Krishnaraj struggled with fine arts initially during college. “Later, a friend of mine explained to me how art is very subjective, and the only thing that matters is the effort we put into it,” she explains.
Gayathri is responsible for opening the Chennai chapter of Open Sky, a global open platform that hosts independant artistes has seen a great response with each passing year.
Talking to us about how the chapter was formed, Gayathri explains, “Two years ago, when I was in my first year at college, I noticed that there weren’t many poetry events happening in the city. Monthly slam events were regular in Bengaluru and Mumbai. My friend Prem Sylvester and I took up the responsibility to open up Open Sky’s Chennai chapter.”
Gayathri feels that it is important to keep our passion alive and Open Sky is a great way to do it. “Nowadays, everyone is career conscious — it has something to do with our society, where parents feel it’s only normal for their children to give up on their interests to concentrate on studies. Open Sky’s aim is to rekindle the passion for arts. Prem focuses majorly on giving more exposure to the movement, whereas I focus on how this community can contribute to the growth of art as a whole.”
One of the famous slams conducted in conducted in Chennai is the blindfold slam. Interestingly, the idea came to Gayathri when she was getting a haircut! “I couldn’t see how the haircut was done and the stylist told me that I had to trust him blindly. So I thought what if we could blindfold people and ask them to make art. It (art) is something that should not be judged based on anything else. But personal opinions of other artistes might hamper with our judgements. For example, we would blindfold a poet and a musician, and they could jam together and come up with a song.”
Gayathri, who is a passionate debater, is also into writing, poetry and photography too. She says she owes a lot to her employers at her internship for sensing the passion in her and for encouraging her to follow it. The best feedback she has gotten from Open Sky? “We have people confessing things, talking about topics they couldn’t do anywhere else. They can be themselves, with their flaws and not be judged for it. This gives them the freedom to express themselves. It’s an initiative which stands true to its name — limitless,” she says.
Sharing about the love she gets from her friends in the community, Gayathri says, “I call them my family. When I have any issues, the people who came and offered me help weren’t my friends from school or college, but were the ones from Open Sky. This love is what drives me to do more for them.”