By Laman Ismayilova
The Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Arts, and Spirituality is fast approaching. The festival will take place in Azerbaijan on September 27-30.
The event, timed to the work of Imadaddin Nasimi (1369-1417), one of the brilliant poets and thinkers of the East, is organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and supported by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture.
The festival will be held under the slogans "Beyond the Limited Self", reflecting the philosophical views of the poet, and “I am a Particle, I am the Sun” which are the poet’s lines.
The large-scale event covers various types of art and knowledge fields. During the festival, programs will be organized in various places in Baku, as well as in Shamakhi, the native city of the poet.
The program of the festival is full of bright events and interesting projects, which won't leave anyone indifferent.
The creative art of urban landscapes will be one of the most striking events of the project. A public art project titled "Opening Wall" will be demonstrated in an unused industrial warehouse in Baku’s Gala settlement on September 30.
About 10 local and foreign urban artists will participate in the project. They will create their works on the walls of the building. Among them are artists from the US, South Africa, Brazil, Belgium, Spain and France.
Observing the creative process, children and adolescents will also draw under the guidance of masters of fine arts. Students of the Azerbaijan State Art Academy will further portray their sketches on the walls of the building on a large scale.
Famous artists Roan Hendrikz from South Africa and Philippe Baudelocque from France shared their impressions about Baku and the works to be demonstrated at the festival. The artists do not name their works, giving the opportunity to the guests of the festival to imagine the intention of the urban artists.
Urban art is a style of art relating to urban space, urban life and urban culture. A big number of contemporary artists, designers and even filmmakers, who have special love for urban landscapes, use urban art. Urban art often includes elements of street art and graffiti, thus summarizing a big number of visual art forms that arise in urban areas, inspiring us with urban architecture or urban style.
"I have traveled all over the world, but I have never been to Azerbaijan.It is a fantastic country and I really like being here. Baku is a beautiful city. Very friendly people live here," Hendrikz said.
He has been engaged in urban art for 15 years. When creating his works, he decided to embody the idea of mandala - a sacred schematic image. In Sanskrit mandala means "circle" or "disc". In fact, mandala is a complex geometric pattern or design, represented as a "map of the universe".
"I decided to depict the mandala - the image of holiness and existentialism. We can see the circle of the mandala in our life in different forms. For example, we see the Sun and the Moon in the form of a circle," he said.
"In my understanding, the circle of the mandala means life.I have connected the circle of the mandala with the widespread geometric elements and colors - red, yellow, blue, white and black. Red symbolizes energy, blue - healing, yellow - happiness, black - inner concentration, white – peace," the artist said.
"All these elements are combined in my work and inspired by the philosophy of Nasimi. I had no idea about his works before my visit to Azerbaijan. I had to conduct a study to find out how my own themes can be combined with his ideas. This work was created on the basis of my knowledge of Nasimi's works," he added.
Baudelocque also came to Baku for the first time and was astonished by the scope of construction and architecture.
"I have been in many cities," he said. "Baku will be remembered for its originality, when the eastern colors are successfully in harmony with western modernism. As a man who paints on the walls of buildings, I liked the city very much."
For about 10 years he is devoted to his favorite work. Moreover, he likes to work in solitude. The guest from France is painting big pictures (7 by 31 meters), where he portrays a panther, a gazelle, combining them with geometric patterns.
"For me Nasimi's creativity is the embodiment of spirituality and the limitless possibilities of man," Baudelocque said. “My thoughts converge with his philosophy. As a creative person, this is very important for me. All these things are connected with the universe, with the spiritual world."
"I often depict animals in my drawings, but they are not just animals," he added. "They are archetypes of the animal realm. In the pictures I try to show multi-dimensionality without boundaries. I am trying to show life in these pictures. I pictured a panther, then geometric patterns, and then a gazelle. All these three images are linked together through thin lines. This is the so-called connection of the macro-world and the micro-world."
For the first time, registration for such a grandiose festival will be held through the official website www.nasimifestival.live rather than via ticket sales and invitations.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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