From wire to wood, Qazi Shabana, a sculptor, uses everything she finds to shape her imagination.
The sculptures made by Shabana, a final year student of Bachelors in Visual Arts are usually from the material that others may consider trash.
“I collect different types of materials be it a piece of wire or a hair clip and it just feels magical how a thing that is a waste for someone shapes into something really beautiful. I work with coal, stone, clay, and wood etc.”
Hailing from Lal Bazar area of Srinagar, Shabana always connects herself with nature. Apart from sculpting, she paints and sketches as well.
“From a person walking on the road to someone who is just sitting casually in the room, I get ideas from everywhere,” she adds.
From childhood, she was interested in art and after getting inspired from her teachers, she opted for sculpting. Currently, she is pursuing her degree at Kashmir University.
She says, “I am still in the process of learning. Art is a way of expression for me. It is just my feelings that I like to portray. Later when my love for art got stronger, I decided to pursue it as my career and that’s when I started learning more about art.”
She has planned to go further in the field of art and pursue Ph.D. from outside Kashmir. “I want to educate people and I also want to make a place in Kashmir where people can showcase their art,” she said.
Her most of the work is about human emotions and animals. One of her sculptures reflects a woman with snakes around her neck and roses on her eyes. “It is about a girl who has negativity around her but she is happy as her vision for her future is clear and that is why roses are blooming from her eyes.”
One of her works that she has made during COVID times is about “lifting others up”. She has used the technique of wire wrapping. “I have used wire and wood to get the desired piece where one person is lifting another in the time of distress.”
Talking about the people’s response, Shabana says, “The response of people towards my artwork is usually very nice. Sometimes there can be exceptions but I always get appreciation.”
She highlighted various problems that artists face in Kashmir. “Most of the time people don’t pay the right price for the sculptures and paintings but still there are few people who value the art properly.”
Lack of recognition and unavailability of art courses are some of the problems, she says, need to be addressed.
“Recognition is the main problem that artists face in Kashmir. Not every single artist is able to get the recognition they deserve. We don’t have a proper place to display our artwork. As a sculptor, I hardly get a place to display my artwork. Also, we don’t have further art courses available here in Kashmir valley.”
Despite all the problems, she believes that one should never give up on their dreams. “No matter what, just follow your passion and everything will get easier soon whether someone supports you or not you must be the support you need,” she adds.