Srinagar: When Kashmir valley was coming to terms with lockdown in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, self-taught young artist Sahil Imtiyaz Mir was honing his artistic abilities in the four walls of his home.
Mir, who hails from the Kawdara area in the old city, had been drawing portraits right from his childhood and then decided to take it forward and make sculptures during the lockdown.
Two years on, Mir also has become an expert in shadow art and his projection of renowned thinker and poet Allama Iqbal recently took the social media by storm.
“I am a self-taught artist and I was inclined towards art right from my childhood. I would mainly draw portraits and sketches but during the lockdown after the abrogation of Article 370, I decided to make a cemented fountain. Later, I made a sculpture of a farmer, aquarium, and other art-works and received lots of appreciation especially on social media,” Mir told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said his work portraying Allama Iqbal through shadow-art was his tribute to the great thinker and was a first of its kind artwork in Kashmir.
“This artwork is a tribute to the poet Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal. This artwork work is made of pencils. It is not a sketch or a painting but just a shadow. You can see that I can move the shadow as well. This has been created for the first time in Kashmir,” he said.
His carvings of names – Allah and Muhammad too had gone viral on social media.
Mir, who is presently pursuing B.Com through IGNOU and also looks after his family business, regretted that there were no takers for his art.
“Who will buy my artwork in Kashmir? I see artists outside who make big sculptures and have name, fame, and money. But, there is no support for this kind of artwork here,” he said.
He said he would love to pursue his passion for art and become a full-time artist if he got an opportunity.
“If I get an opportunity, I would love to take it up as a profession. Otherwise, it will just remain a passion,” he said.
Mir maintained he was completely self-taught and had received no training from anybody.
“Who teaches this? Nobody. You can search YouTube but you cannot find this type of art. In fact, I have a YouTube channel where I teach people,” he said.