I call myself a Sculptor, Painter, and Teacher to some extent. This may be the reason that my approach to an artistic act is academic. My approach to sculpture is through many drawings that I explore. Each drawing has its own beginning, its own expression… an
The idea, which grows and lives with each stroke of a pen. The idea or new expression is not born all in one simple movement. It actually lives as my pen moves. Lines, planes, and shapes develop a new life within itself. The new creation crystallizes itself into true and real meaning. My approach is a process of exploring sculptural form by freedom of movement to be captured into a crystallized idea. These ideas and sketches are only notes that serve to describe the physical attitude and general design of the subject. Each new idea waits for its creator to choose a tangible form. The idea or interpretation of the subject in three dimensions is accomplished during actual construction. The idea that best expenses my conception of its meaning is then developed into a sculptural form of its own. This is the moment for which each idea waits. Once chosen, it is no longer dormant as its many companions. It will begin to breathe, develop, and grow into a visual experience, a true sculptural creation. With each blow of the hammer, and with each cut of the chisel, a new life is born. In the creation, I always start by searching for the whole. I confine myself to the simplest line and planes. Sometimes details do interest me, what matters is the original idea. I want the idea to feel the life within itself, and to crystallize into a harmonious whole. Each sculpture with its new life stands ready to speak through its elements to the observer.
The current spiritual crisis has globally been recognized. There is an air of dissatisfaction and unrest. Only artists can truly spread the message of love and universal brotherhood as it has been universally accepted that the urge derived out of looking at an object of art is no less than a spiritual experience. I am sure this kind of effort will go a long way in bringing about an atmosphere of love and tranquility which is so badly needed in the present-day society.
GAYOOR HASSAN’S AESTHETIC JOURNEY
“The current spiritual crisis has globally been recognized. There is an air of dissatisfaction and unrest. I believe only artists can truly spread the message of love and universal brotherhood, as it has been universally accepted that the libido derived out of looking at an object of art is no less than a spiritual experience. I am sure this kind of effort will go a long way in bringing about an atmosphere of love and tranquility which is so badly needed in present-day society.” Gayoor Hassan (1939-2013)
Kashmir has been a favorite destination for artists across India. In the mid-twentieth century, S. H. Raza’s frequent sojourns in Kashmir and later Ghulam Rasool Santosh’s idea to host Art Camps brought some of the reputed modern artists in direct contact with the aspiring local artists. These early interactions shaped the course of modern art practices of local Kashmiri artists.
Post-1989, the deadliest years in the history of Kashmir, had a drastic impact on the social and cultural sphere of life. The local artists either hibernated or maintained a somewhat solitary engagement with their works. The Institute of Music and Fine Arts, which served as the only available pretext for local artists to meet and exchange ideas, was rarely seen busy with students. Unlike other institutions of learning it is more difficult to recall the existence of an art college aimed at training students in the spirit of modernist experimentation and innovation. During the first decade of militancy, the Valley experienced the greatest human loss, displacement of Kashmiri Hindus, and a near-absolute disconnection with the rest of the world.
Gayoor Hassan’s contribution to the development of modern art in Kashmir, both as an artist and academician, is insurmountable. He took the charge as principal of Institute of Music and Fine Art when the Valley was witnessing the worst period of violence. It is difficult to imagine a functional art institute in the midst of insurgency. His contribution lies in his unflinching and unwavering determination to run the art institute and the ability to maintain a prolific artistic engagement.
As an artist, Hassan’s major preoccupation has been to develop visual imagery evoking universal expressions of peace, meditation, and tranquility. The aesthetic concerns that were so crucial in the wake of the turmoil then as it is relevant to the present troubled times.
Dr. Wasim Mushtaq
Department of Fine Arts,
Aligarh Muslim University,