Ganderbal, May 21: There are several artists who create magic on different platforms. Be it sand, paper, or even glass. But there is an artist who has created a unique art out of stones.
Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, an artist from the Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, has utilised a lot of his time to hone his creative skills by getting closer to nature and to paint images of some prominent personalities and places on the stones. This talented artist from Ganderbal district possesses the truly exceptional skill and claims to be the only artist in the world who creates stunning paintings using rock powder derived from grinding rocks sourced from various mountains and rivers in Kashmir.
Bhat is a passionate individual who collects rocks from different mountains, skillfully grinds them in a mortar at his home, and extracts vibrant, natural colors to create his art on a board.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Manzoor Bhat said that from class 4th he was interested in learning art and started making pencil sketches. “ I was not interested in studies, rather grew passionate about art and sketches”, he said, adding that this made “me leave my studies after 10th class.”
Manzoor said that the Ganderbal district, which comprises a number of picturesque trekking routes, mountains and rivers, particularly nallah Sindh has served as inspiration for him. “ I started going to nullah Sindh, located at some distance from my home, where I got enchanted by the beauty of the flowing water and stones. He said that “ I started collecting pebbles from rivers initially and then used to grind them in a mortar at home, and extracted vibrant, natural colors to create art on a board.”
Manzoor said that initially his friends were not so encouraging about his passion and work of collecting stones, but “now everyone, his family and friends are encouraging and appreciating my art.”
With a deep love for nature, Manzoor said he uses his art to express his feelings and connect with others. “Creating this kind of art is not an easy task, especially when it comes to finding the right colors and shapes of pebbles or stones,” Manzoor said, adding that it takes him a lot of effort and hard work to collect the required stones.
He said that the image he created was of a ship which he made on a plywood board. Manzoor said that he has so far held a few exhibitions in Goa, Delhi and Mumbai and is looking forward to some recognition and support from the government. “ This is the unique art not found and created anywhere in the world so far, even the concerned departments here are not clear about naming this art and to categorize it .”
However Manzoor is sure that his art will soon be recognised internationally. Manzoor said that he met Director Handicrafts and Handloom Mahmood Shah recently and showed him this art, who was amazed to see it and assured all possible help. Manzoor is hopeful that his colorful stone art will give a new platform and inspire other Kashmiri youth to explore their creativity.