Petrov the master sculptor
“Art cannot be learnt from books, it is an inborn talent or God given gift ? Practice makes you perfect ? Svilen Petrov”. Svilen Petrov is well known in Abu Dhabi to those who are familiar with the art of making designs or figures in wood, clay, plaster, stone, marble or metal. He is a master sculptor who gives exquisite form to things of beauty. He teaches this art to anyone who is interested in sculpturing, at the Art workshop of the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. He is from Bulgaria and trains aspiring sculptors in the intricacies of this difficult art form.
He believes that “all artisitic inspiration is a divine gift and an art teacher can only help in bringing out the hidden talents and potential in each student. Each and every person is gifted and it is upto that person to find out the hidden talents and explore the opportunities”. An original sculptor should not copy others work but needs to create original works out of one?s own imagination. That is why sculptors are also divine creations and only a few are called and can excel this art, says Petrov.
Petrov from his childhood days had a great interest in drawing and painting. He was very creative in this field from his school days. He says with a broad smile that “he used to hate the academic field of learning science and mathematics and so took up this field which is totally different. Since he had a great interest in this field he thought that it would be the best and easiest thing to do.
Later on when he put his heart and mind into this field, he realized that it wasn?t as easy as he had thought it would be. But because of the inner spark and desire to learn he did not give up his interest of learning sculpture. To pursue his interest he enrolled at the Art Academy in his hometown Sofia and learnt the basics of sculpture. He studied classical works, learnt sketching and the steps and processes in sculpture. Finally he learnt to work with real models. Soon after graduating from the academy Petrov took up sculpture as a hobby and then started working full time on commissions on monuments and statues. Petrovs reputation as a sculptor grew in his hometown and he was invited to organize several exhibitions of his works in Sofia. He then held an exhibition at Stuttgart in Germany which helped him lay a firm foundation in this field.
A person needs to have a very creative and innovative mind to enter this field of sculpture. They need to be artists with a flair and interest in drawing and painting. They should be good in sketching too. Without that he cannot give a proper form to the sculpture. “A good sculptor needs to be a good artist, though a good artist need not necessarily be a good sculptor” – says Petrov.
Although he was happy with his lifestyle in his hometown, it was the desire to grow in this field prompted him to look out for greener pastures. It was in the mid nineties when Mohammed Al Suweidi ? director of Abu Dhabi Cultural foundation approached him and asked him to take up teaching at the Art Workshop of Cultural foundation, he immediately seized the opportunity and it was a blessing in disguise. Petrov believes that opportunities don?t come knocking on your door again and again and he grabbed it at the right time and remains indebted to Mohammed Al Suweidi for providing a platform for him to grow in this field.
Petrov is now holding exhibitions at the Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi and his designs can be seen adorning the various offices at the Cultural Foundation. He says that sculpture is an art and not many people succeed in learning and acquiring the skills required to perform it. Many students enroll themselves and very few succeed. Most of them lose interest when they find it hard, complex and above all time consuming. While an artist finishes his artwork on paper a sculptor needs to wait till he finishes six or seven different processes before a sculpture is finished. Only those students who are really talented and committed learn this art. His final message to everyone is ” take up a field that is interesting and gives you real joy. Put your heart and mind into it. And work hard and practice till you achieve perfection. Practice makes a man perfect”.
Author: Claude Fernandes- UAE