Eminent artist recalls popular phrase from the National Leader [EXCLUSIVE]
The Land of Fire boasts a rich culture and mesmerizing landscapes, waiting to be explored by art enthusiasts.
Exploring Azerbaijan's rich cultural legacy through the exhibition "Heritage Trails" can be an incredibly immersive experience for everyone, who strives to experience a unique national flavor and identity.
In her interview with Azernews, acclaimed painter Reyhan Osmanli provided insight into the wonderful world of Azerbaijani fine art.
Q: What was the main purpose of exhibition?
A: Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev once said that people should always remember their roots. This phrase has come to be used as the motto for the exhibition "Heritage Trails" timed to the 100th anniversary of the birth of National Leader Heydar Aliyev. The art project aims to preserve Azerbaijani culture and history and pass them on to future generations. It took more than a year to organize the exhibition. Through the art project, we conveyed national culture and traditions to young people in a modern way. The exhibition was organized by Art Studio & Gallery Turan, headed by well-known artist Turan Mukhtarzade. She is the one who came up with the idea for the exhibition. Note that Turan Mukhtarzade was a student of World-famous artist Sakit Mammadov. Now she shares the secrets of fine art with her students from Azerbaijan, Turkiye, Israel, the United States, Mexico and other countries. The exposition included 40 art works by 28 young artists, who reflected the Azerbaijani culture, history, customs and traditions in various art styles.
Q: Which of your paintings were on display in the exhibition?
A: Within the "Heritage Trails" exhibition, I demonstrated my paintings "Mugham", "Karabakh Shikastasi" and "Absheron Memories". Especially for this exhibition, I finished my art work "Mugham". I started working on this painting at the beginning of the last year. However, the idea of the painting came up 2-3 years ago. Finally, I сhose the main character of the painting, who was People's Artist Mansum Ibrahimov. Many artists turn to the theme of mugham music. But I wanted to create something original and completely different. So, I decided to depict Mansum Ibrahimov's performance in Jabrayil, on the background of Khudafarin Bridges. The art work also demonstrates Azerbaijani carpet, a a kind of Azerbaijan's calling card. The painting is somewhat different from the original scene. Instead of the autumn season, I depicted spring and also changed some details of costumes. The First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva once said: "Mugham is the symbol of love and beauty. We- Azerbaijanis are rightly proud of our native mughams."
Through my painting, I demonstrate mugham music in all its beauty. I would be eternally glad if my art work would enter the history of the Azerbaijani fine art. As for my painting "Absheron Memories", I depicted on it a plate of lemons floating in the pool. This painting is inspired by my childhood memories. Within the exhibition, I also presented my art work "Evil Eye". The painting depicts charms used to ward off the evil eye.
Q: What can you say about other art works showcased as part of the exhibition?
A: From portraits to still life and landscapes, the exhibition "Heritage Trails" was distinguished by a variety of art styles. Many paintings were inspired by the breathtaking nature of the Azerbaijani regions in the spring season. As you know, lots of artists, musicians and poets are charmed by the awakening of nature. In their art pieces, the artists brilliantly depicted all the beauty of Mount Kapaz, Maralgol Lake as well as decorative art objects. Through their art pieces, they illustrated the history of the jewelry in Azerbaijan, showing how they have changed over time.
Q: What was the highlight of the event?
A: Turan Mukhtarzade's painting "Around the oven" is striking in its scale and grandeur. The painting depicts women, who gather around tandoor oven. As we know, bread is a symbol of abundance. We all remember how our mothers and grandmothers baked mouthwatering bread in tandoor oven. Fortunately, this tradition has survived to this day. Rich in colors, the painting seems like it breathes with heat. Every woman in the picture is in action. The picture once again proves that a woman has great strength and power. From time immemorial, Azerbaijani women gathered to bake a bread in tandoor for their families. Filled with such strong energy, this painting left no one indifferent. I would also like to note Nurana Babayeva's portrait "South Pearl", which shows a woman with an ancient headscarf. This wonderful painting shows the tradition of head covering, common in the southern regions. There is also a cradle on the portrait, which symbolises the continuity of generations.
Q: What kind of feedback have you been getting from art lovers?
A: Dozens of people flocked to the Carpet Museum to view the exhibition. The art lovers enthusiastically viewed the exhibits. Among the guests were public and cultural figures, including the Turkish artist Devrim Erbil. His personal exhibition was recently held at Heydar Aliyev Center. Positive feedback gave artists an impetus to create new masterpieces. I think that the exhibition "Heritage Trails" is timeless as it reflects national values and eternal love for the motherland.
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