Creative leap of faith
From the centre of the dome of the Rani Mahal in Neemrana’s Tijara Fort palace are suspended six human-like figures glistening in the sunlight bouncing off their bronze bodies.
From the centre of the dome of the Rani Mahal in Neemrana’s Tijara Fort palace are suspended six human-like figures glistening in the sunlight bouncing off their bronze bodies. They are holding on to each other, creating an immobile balance that prevents any one of them from falling.
The 15-foot installation, ‘Trapeze’, by sculptor Khursheed Nariman is an allegory of acrobatics, but is also meant to be much more than just that. “A trapeze is an act of faith in our fellow human beings. We let go of our supporting bars with the hope that the other person will catch us. Liberated from our fears, we can together realise unimagined potential, flourishing in the beautiful swirl of life,” the artist explains.
The interconnectedness of life has always been at the centre of Nariman’s work, but the last two years brought about an unprecedented sense of realisation in her about the need for humankind to stick together. “The pandemic brought into focus our shared destiny and the need for mutual care,” she says, quoting English poet John Donne’s famous lines, “No man is an island. We are nothing if not together.”
‘Trapeze’, particularly in the context of the pandemic, can very well be viewed as both a documentary and an aspirational piece of art. The sculpture in a way is representative of the selfless spirit of all those who went out of their way to lend a helping hand to others. Aspirational, because it shows what great faith humankind is capable of.
Although Nariman studied political science from Delhi University, she was no stranger to art. Her mother Sanaya Nariman was a painter in her younger days, as was her paternal grandmother Bapsi Nariman. Her maternal grandmother Bachoo Contractor too has several accolades to her name in Ikebana, the dainty art of flower arrangement.
Khursheed’s journey as an artist began at the Triveni Kala Sangam, where she was introduced to the art of sculpting under the guidance of her teacher Saroj Jain, followed by her training at the studio of renowned sculptor KS Radhakrishnan. She then went on to work with renowned masters like Arzan Khambatta, Cyrus Dalal, and Padma Vibhushan-awardee Sudarshan Sahoo.
For Nariman, an artist has a dual role ––“one who records her time, and also the one who dreams of better times”.With stalwarts like Auguste Rodin, Alberto Giacometti and Ramkinkar Baij as role models, she is a firm believer of the fact that there is no better way to artistically express oneself than by turning to one’s life experiences, and resorting to continued curiosity and experimentation.
“Being true to yourself and what you’d like to advocate through your art is of foremost importance,” she says.