Ganderbal: In the picturesque Batwina area of Ganderbal, a sozni artist named Showkat Ahmed Lone had breathed new life into the craft.
His extraordinary creations including portraits of influential persons has earned him widespread acclaim in the world of art. The personalities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Ministers AB Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh have been intricately woven into Kashmiri shawls with magnificent craftsmanship.
“The craft was on the decline but I started doing portraits of eminent personalities to inspire people,” he said. His work has earned him an award from the Handicrafts Department in 2022.
“I may have received my due recognition, but the sad reality is that the craftspeople are lagging behind,” Lone told a local news gathering agency.
Displaying a remarkable piece of art that depicted Lord Ram and Sita on one side and the majestic Taj Mahal on the other, he emphasized his commitment to inclusivity saying, “I created the image of Ram and Sita out of reverence.”
Expressing his concern about the exploitation of artists, he said the government should take measures that would ensure fair compensation for the artisans.
“Due to this exploitation, the younger generation is disheartened and keeps away from this indigenous Kashmiri art causing it to gradually fade away,” he said.
“I intend to portray portraits of Bollywood actors and further explore the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir,” reflecting his unwavering dedication to preserving and advancing the beloved tradition. (KNO)