Published: 10th March 2021
This Odisha boy is making unique sculptures with matchsticks. Check it out
Saswat Ranjan Sahoo is an 18-year-old college student who is giving matchsticks a new life with his funky sculptures
To make their work unique and special, artists often experiment with their medium and push the boundaries of art. We have seen sculptures made out of plastic, fabric and what not. But 18-year-old Saswat Ranjan Sahoo might have just taken it a bit further. Bored at home amid the lockdown, Saswat decided to make elaborate sculptures with matchsticks! Using thousands of matchsticks each time, Saswat has managed to create lifelike sculptures of a tank, a radio and even an idol of Lord Jagannath!
Hailing from Puri, Odisha, Saswat's first matchstick project was the sculpture of Lord Jagannath. "The idea struck me one day when there was a power cut in my area. I lit a diya with a matchstick and began arranging the rest in a pattern. This made me wonder whether I could create something out of the matchsticks," says Saswat. Saswat then went to the store nearby and bought several boxes of matchsticks. "Shopkeepers would often laugh at me and ask me why I need so many matchboxes at one go. I am always unable to explain this to them," says Saswat.
Saswat with the matchstick radio sculpture | Pic: Saswat Ranjan Sahoo
To make the matchstick sculpture of Lord Jagannath, Saswat used 7,881 matchsticks and it took him 21 days to complete the piece. But it proved to be just the beginning. "Since making the first piece, I have tried to make a new piece every month," says Saswat. Recently, Saswat made a radio out of 3,130 matchsticks to mark World Radio Day on February 13 and a month before that, he made a tank out of 2,256 matchsticks on the occasion of National Army Day on January 15. An average sculpture takes around a week to complete, Saswat says, depending on its size.
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Saswat has always been an art enthusiast and has been participating in art competitions since childhood. "Art excited me but I seldom found time to practise it. During the lockdown, with classes being online, I got the opportunity to practise and renew my love for art," says Saswat, who is a BSc student at Bhakta Manein Smruti Degree Mahavidyalaya in Odisha. "I am a self-taught artist and whatever I make, it is borne out of experimentation," says Saswat. To make his sculptures fire-proof, Saswat's family, which includes his parents and elder brother, helps him separate the match head from the stick.