23 May, 2011

Injecting a new life into Sculptural Art

Published in Pakistan Observer (22 May 2011)

Sana Jamal
Artist Imran Hunzai at work.

Islamabad - The sculpture art is picking up fast in Pakistan despite a traditional distaste and lack of enthusiasm by art managers. However, more recently there is a realization about significance of this special art and Pakistan National Council of the Arts took the lead in organizing a five-day workshop on sculpture art in Pakistan. Three artists, Sajjad Akram, Ayub Wali and Imran Hunzai were the trainers at the art workshop - “Creating Sculpture”.

Sculpture - the art of making ordinary things into extraordinary is a three-dimensional artwork created by combining different materials such as wood, stone, clay, metal, glass, sand, ice, and even balloons and chocolates.

The world of sculptures is purely constructed on the artist’s imagination and demands a lot of focus and patience till the end result, which is worth all the effort and leaves people in state of awe” Sajjad Akram told the students while demonstrating one of his projects.

“The sole purpose of this workshop is to promote the ignored art of sculpture” said Mussarrat Nahid Imam, Director of Visual Art department at National Art Gallery.

Talking to Pakistan Observer, Sajjad Akram said that “over the years, the performing arts has received popularity in Pakistan, but unfortunately, the visual arts and especially sculpture failed to gain its due place in society.” Explaining the reasons of the low scope of sculpture, he said that “in addition to a large amount of time and energy, this art also requires resources for the tools, studio space and specific environment.”

The participants at the workshop included students from colleges and young artists. Sharing her experience at the art workshop, Beenish Raza, a student of Islamabad College for Girls said that “in a very short period, we have learned about all the basics of sculpture, from drawing to relief work to modelling, to moulding and casting.”

Imran Hunzai, an artist who is presently teaching at National College of Art (NCA), Rawalpindi, lauded the response of the students as a marvellous achievement. “I have suggested PNCA to continue art workshops on a regular basis to back up the art education for students who cannot afford the expensive art schools” he commented.

Batool Fatima, a student at beacon house school, a participant of the workshop said that “the training provided me a golden chance to learn directly from my mentor, Sajjad Akram.” She added that “sculptures have always inspired me and I am surely going to pursue my career as a sculptor.”

Maryam Mushtaq, a Fine Arts student in Foundation University found the workshop too good to be true. “I have learned so much about sculpture in just two days that I am willing to continue this art now.”