The Amdavadi art fraternity gathered at Amdavad ni Gufa on Tuesday evening in memory of legendary artist Syed Haider Raza. The space had the artist’s work at display and photographs of SH Raza on his visit to city and moments spent with city based artists.
Anil Relia, art connoisseur shared that he met the renowned artist in Paris and they connected with mutual love for painting. “We worked on graphics together,” said Relia. The legendary artist visited Relia’s home and studio while he visited city. “We went to Gandhi ashram and Vishala restaurant. He went emotional seeing Gandhiji’s photograph ; he stood there and cried,” remembered Relia.
BV Doshi, noted architect shared his memories of Late SH Raza. Doshi shared more about the artist’s persona and how Raza saab evolved as an artist. “From painting landscapes initially; the artist then got references from independence movement of India, communism in Paris and changing technology. Raza being one of the artist of the Progressive artist group of Bombay, used to discuss a lot on philosophies with other artists like Paritosh Sen, FN Souza.He was influenced by Gandhiji and Kabir. He loved colours and shapes and searched for simplification,” shared Doshi. He added,”Raza’s life exemplifies that if one has the interest ,curiosity and self confidence; one can work in his individual way by self discovery. To discover self, receive from self and exhibit thoughts- was Raza’s style.” He concluded saying, “He is a torch bearer.”
Amit Ambalal, renowned artist remembered Raza saab as someone who saw India with a fresh eye. “His work has miniature, embroidery, folk and even philosophy,” said Amit Ambalal. He also shared that though staying in France, he had longing to come to India. “We made him see the Calico mill. He was in trance looking at the Hutheesing temple. He got emotional seeing cows. He took the farm soil and rubbed it on his forehead,” remembered Amit Ambalal.
Madhav Ramanuj, a literary person recited a poem written by artist Raju Parekh. Parekh belongs to Bhavnagar and stayed with Raza Saab in France for some time. “Raza saab had an eye for talent and encouraged Raju Parekh,” shared Ramanuj. Ramanuj also shared the strange part of any artsist’s life with incidents as shared to him by Parekh. “I was told, in his past years, a few artists took his signature on blank canvas”, sighed Ramanuj.
The meet concluded with the poem. The art fraternity applauded the words and affection for the legendary artists. A couple of lines from the poem. “Raza naam anubhuti… Bindu hee beej hai, bindu hai hosla.”
Photographs : Aneri Nihalani
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