SATISH GUJRAL-EVERY ARTIST SEEKS HIS OWN SALVATION
Life in general inspires Gujral. His latest works on sports have been inspired by the fluidity and poetic movement of the cricket players he noticed on television. His noticing a peice of cidar falling from the bonfire on the day Lohri resulted in his creating of art on wood, inspired as he was by the colour and texture -something he did for 15 years of his life.
Gujral feels that every activity has some poetic element in it. It is up to the artist to trace the poetic element and give form to it. An artist is like a man on a journey who sees trees, rivers and hills and describes the topography. If a traveller describes only trees, it means he is stationery.
Similarly an aritst expresses himself through a variety of medium-He has worked with paint, wood, clay etc.-each offers limitless possibilities for artistic expression. Therefore he describes himself, not as a painter, nor a sculptor or even an architect.
Gujral is an early riser beginning his day at 7 am. He reads newspapers avidly-he firmly believes that only this habit has shaped him into the person he is. His reading continues till 9am after which he relaxes for some time with a cup of coffee. Then he would sit to paint, sculpt or design a building, whichever of the tasks might be at hand. He would break for lunch and 15-minute nap at 1 pm. His artistic pursuits would continue till 7 pm. Then he would either read or visit close friends.
He says his reading has decreased greatly-his advanced age of 80 seems to instill a haunting feeling of emergency. Therefore he wants to do as much as possible in as little time.
At the moment he is looking forward to an upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art which is a retrospective by the government on his winning the Padma Vibhushan.
Gujaral feels that contemporary art is very vivid with so many artists emerging at the same time. It is a positive sign that they all show originality. He has lot of admiration for them-however so long as they are entering the field because of the boom in it, they cease to be artists. Though Gujral achieved fame by 1952, he did not sell hsi single work till 1965. He did sundry jobs like correcting examination papers for survival all those years.
It is a pathetic state of mind that even students of art desire to sell their work. Gujral does want to give any advice to them except by saying that each aritst finds his own salvation.