Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ravinder Jamwal: A Sculptor from Dogra Land

Ravinder Jamwal is an established name in the world of art.  And I call him a sculptor from Dogra land because he is the ‘Artist behind Statues of Dogra Heroes’. Well, this was an article I had written 13 years ago in my column. But it is a fact and if you visit Jammu, you will find his creations at every nook and cranny of the city. In fact, most of the statues in city of temples bear just one name of the creator ‘Ravinder Jamwal.’

        It was in May 2002, I had met him for the first time. Though a novice journalist, I had been given opportunity to write a column ‘Heart to Heart’ on art and culture for the newspaper, State Times, Jammu. So each week, I would meet one artist, be it painter, sculptor, actor, playwright, and write about him or her. It wasn’t purely a write-up on art as an art critic. It was mixture of everything: art, artist, his life and his achievements. It was a heart to heart talk and when one talks emotionally boundary gets blurred. 
                                         Ravinder Jamwal
         Now after thirteen years, I met him. Just a month back, I had sent him a friendship request on Facebook reminding him of his being a benign host 13 years ago. He accepted. Then I had not imagined that we would meet so soon. And see the coincidence, he was here with a solo exhibition, Within Limitation, at Lalit Kala Academy, Rabindra Bhavan, Delhi from 17th September to 23 September.

     Well, he might call it Within Limitation, I consider him an artist with limitless imaginations. He is an artist who has rejected the formalist and market oriented approach. His current six works on display show his independent way of thinking and his concern for environment and nature. “My works lies into the transcendence of natural beauty and the outcome of my state of mind, pure heart and eventually of soul,’ he writes. ‘Within Limitation’ while indicates our limitations as a human being but it certainly frees us from limitations of thought and ideas. 

                                              Prosperity (Material-Steel and Wood)
         He uses metals like iron and steel and other items like wood, crucible, newspaper, glue and paint to give concrete shape to his ideas. In this unlimited world he tries to fix a limit. The prosperity, made in steel and wood, draws our attention towards the limit way one can achieve the success: step by step. Similarly, his Recycling indicates towards need of the time, everything that exists in this world vanishes one day only to come back in another shape. 
                                   Recycling (Material- Crucible and Iron)

Observation (Material-Iron and Wood)
         Within Limitation (below) suggests our gradual rise and this rise takes place within boundaries. It may take someone to the top but there he can face all kinds of possibilities, he may be a winner or a loser. 

                                          Within Limitation (Material- Iron and Wood)

   Furnace (Material-Iron, wood and crucible)
             Furnace, his another creation, takes us again to the world of creativity. We put some materials into it in our efforts to get something new. But is that a new thing or just something metamorphosed? That is the question.

           Jamwal has also received wide recognition as an installation artist. I still recall, 13 years ago when I had got down from the bus near his village, Birpur, which is coincidentally the name of my native town also, I was amazed at some strange creations at the bank of a pond and on the hillock surrounding the village. ‘In installation I tried my best to delineate the plight of militancy infested people and then I made a series of migration attributed to them,’ he said. 

            If we talk about his achievements, Jamwal has been able to add many feathers in his cap and since his master’s degree in Portraiture from MS University Braoda, he has come a long way. He was registered in LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS in 2009. He has been a member of Royal British Society of Sculptors, London.  Apart from being recipient of many state and national awards, he has also been awarded Dogra Rattan Award in 2013 for his contribution to art, particularly for remarkable statues of Dogra heroes. Besides, he has so far participated in about 5 international exhibition, 15 state exhibition and 25 installations at different places, 12 group shows and two international and 17 national camps.

          Though he was a bit disappointed about his experience in Delhi, especially about media coverage of his exhibition, he said there were many ideas still unexplored and he was determined to continue his exploration. We wish him best of luck for his future endeavors.