With the advent of Islam the world saw a great development of intellectual and artistic talent flowering into a variety of fields. A rich sophisticated artistic activity in almost every stream of fine arts was observed during the Muslim rule in different parts of the world.
Pottery making is one such distinct craft in which the Muslim artisans have great achievements to their credit. Inspired by this legacy, SHAMEEM QURESHI, Mumbai, decided to revive this ancient art of earthen pottery.
Her clay pots with engravings and painting of Quranic verses are not only excellent in the aesthetic sense but express soul stirring spirituality also. Within a short period of time she gained an expertise in this craft. She is, now, being recognised for her excellence in creating a synergy of calligraphy and pot making.
Since childhood she had acquired a flair for creative activities. She completed her diploma education in commercial arts and worked in an advertising agency for a few years. Her work as a commercial artist didn’t satisfy her inner self and she left it to do something in fine arts.
I started with designing ceramic vases.” Says Shameem. “The early designs mainly contained floral patterns”, then she experimented with abstract color splashes to indicate various mind waves a person experiences.
One of her senior well-wisher advised her to learn Arabic calligraphy. She found it a very delicate art but an unrestricted path to progress and now she is only artist in India practicing Arabic calligraphy on ceramic pots. “It’s merely not painting, but engraving, embossing and a lot more”. Her color schemes are very distinct. Each pot is first carefully designed on paper.
The bare structure is moulded. Engraving or embossing is the next step and finally she imparts the finishing touches. Many a times it takes weeks to transform a clay pot to a fantastic artifact.
“My art definitely fetches me a livelihood”, but primarily, it is a means of earning a creative satisfaction. She has a very limited clientele as she neither has a proper studio nor a sales set up to practice her art in a professional manner. Due to lack of funds and financial support her long cherished dream of holding an exhibition is yet to come true.
Shameem says “I am very optimistic, I want to further explore and experiment new avenues in Islamic Art and I am confident … InshaAllah my talents will receive due recognition and patronage”.