Carving a remarkable path on life’s canvas - Hindustan Times

Carving a remarkable path on life’s canvas

Jun 07, 2023 06:47 PM IST

Odisha-based sculptors Rabi Narayan Rath and Jayant Kumar Das interacted with artists, students in Chandigarh

As contemporary sculptor Hap Hagood once said, within every block of wood and stone, there dwells a spirit, waiting to be released.

Artist Rabi Narayan Rath giving a live sculpting demonstration (HT Photo)
Artist Rabi Narayan Rath giving a live sculpting demonstration (HT Photo)

And some of these spirits came alive at the recent ‘Meet the Sculptors’ session organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (CLKA) at the CLKA Open Hand Art Studios, Le Corbusier Centre in city.

Award-winning sculptors from Odisha, Rabi Narayan Rath and Jayant Kumar Das, interacted with around 25 eminent artists of the region about their artistic journey, their gurus, and much more.

Rath, who trained at Santiniketan (Visva Bharati University), and MS University (Baroda), held a live sculpting session where he made a bust of Mahatma Gandhi. This was followed by a recital of Vaishnava Jana To.

With more than 40 years of experience in teaching art education, Rath said he was delighted with the response he got from the audience during the live demonstration. “One of the audience members complemented me that ‘Gandhi ji’s soul came alive in my sculpture’. That was a very special moment,” he said.

On how he started sculpting, the former secretary of the Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi, said during his first year at Shantiniketan, his teacher Sarbari Roy Choudhury said that he had the potential to be the ‘stone man’ of Odisha and trained him.

Sculptor Jayant Kumar Das talking about his works (HT Photo)
Sculptor Jayant Kumar Das talking about his works (HT Photo)

Sculptor-ceramist-academician Das, who is credited to have introduced bronze techniques and ceramics work in art education in Odisha, said he was struggling with finances during his student days at art school in Khallikote, Ganjam.

“That’s when my guru Bipra Charan Mohanty suggested that I take up sculpting and earn while learning. So, I would go to his workshop from 8-11am, then attend classes till 4pm and go back to the workshop where the work would continue till midnight on most days,” he added, during the session about his life and work.

This, he said, aided him financially while also increasing his self-confidence. “I got a platform to showcase my talent which motivated others to join the field. My guru ji was the sole person in Odisha to know a unique bronze casting technique which he then taught me. I took his legacy forward and trained others,” he said.

CLKA chairman Bheem Malhotra said, “This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the city. Our aim was to familiarise young artists with talents like these. The event was a great success as the audience came up with many queries for the sculptors, who patiently responded to them.”

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