The majority in this world are mere figureheads. Like waves in the ocean, they simply appear and disappear, but a personality leaves his marks. Sculptor Adwaita Gadnayak is one such personality, who has an open mind always searching for fresh knowledge and thus is blessed with enough wisdom. His works, which depict socio-politics, pre-modernism, divine power, etc, and have been exhibited world over, substantiate it. One can feel his sculptures while watching them. He has been honoured with many awards on both national and international levels. In 1993, the prestigious National Award for Sculpture was conferred on him for his creation of Gandhiji installed at Rajghat.
At present he is working with KIIT University in Bhubaneswar. His creations carved out of huge stones vibrate you. “Every single thing around us is made up of five elements–soil, water, fire, air and sky–and so is stone and hence it reacts too. When you touch my sculpture, you can feel it,” says Mr Gadnayak in a formal chat with Uday India.
What a man can just imagine, Mr Gadnayak can give it a shape. He is a man who can create wonders out of a drop. While shaping a stone, he always keeps one thing in mind that the art form he is known for should remain there. “Art has never known boundaries. It just captures viewers’ attention through colours, images and expressions. Each work, however, saying something different and important, should have the artist’s feel,” says Mr Gadnayak. But he laments that nowadays exhibitions are just becoming a medium to sell out the creations. Lot of young artists are aping the West and are taking advantage of the biennale and triennial cultures across the world so that the media takes notice of their art, and they get famous. But he does not concur with this shortcut to eminence. Every artist has his or her own individuality, for which he or she is known and this should not be left behind, he emphasises. “We have such a rich culture like folk dances and many other forms of dances that do not need any introduction and publicity. They are still practiced, not to gain publicity but to stay connected with the cultural heritage. I mean what is the need to commercialise your creations,” says Mr Gadnayak. He, however, adds, “I am not against exhibition and not everything is completely rubbish. A lot of good things also come out of exhibitions.”
When asked whether he exhibits his creations, he chuckled and said, “I am not worried about selling my sculptures. I want people to just come and have a look at my creations so that they can feel the imagination.” One of his best creations is the sculpture of Gandhiji placed at Rajghat in New Delhi, for which the National Award for Sculpture was bestowed on him in 1993. Reminiscing about that sculptor, Mr Gadnayak said: “When I was told to make this sculpture, I was just provided with Gandhiji’s physical appearance like height, weight and so on. But I thought it was just not enough to make a perfect sculpture of such a noble, exalted, steadfast man. I mean I wanted to carve out that sculpture with the same feeling of power and love for the nation that he had. So I worked arduously and profoundly to bring in that same sensitivity in my creation. My art is intensely of personal experience, the result of which cannot always be shared with others but can be felt.”
By Vaishali Tanwar