New Delhi: Renowned for churning out massive statues that ooze creativity and grandeur and adorn public spaces besides at the Parliament House in Delhi, prolific sculptor and Padma awardee Ram V Sutar says the 'Statue of Unity' is scheduled to be completed within two years.
91-year-old Sutar, who shot to fame with the 45-feet-high Chambal monument at Gandhi Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh, was chosen by the government in 2014 to build in Gujarat, a mammoth Sardar Patel statue, slated to be the world's largest statue.
The 522 feet high bronze statue of India's first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's brainchild.
"The statue is one of my dream projects. It is 522 feet high and weighs around 1,600 tonnes. The head itself has the dimension of 70 feet. The statue symbolizes unity in the face of adversity. It is about a man who united India when the country was on the path of division. It will be completed in two years," says Sutar.
The artist dismissed reports that some parts of the statue were being outsourced from China. "It is a big statue, so it can only be made in parts. I am closely monitoring the project and no part has been made in China. It is completely a 'Make in India' initiative," he says.
Sutar, who considers nature to be the best teacher, says at times his work surprises him. "My work is a reflection of what nature has taught me. It can be the best teacher. There are times when I get surprised by my own work. One should never allow our dreams to die down. Let your imaginations run wild," he says.
A bust of Mahatma Gandhi sculpted by the award winning artist has been presented by the government to France, Italy, Argentina, Barbados, Russia and England.
Sutar considers Mahatma Gandhi as his muse. He has sculpted 17 feet high Gandhi statues in meditation pose, which are installed in Gujarat and at the Parliament House in Delhi.
His other notable sculpture includes a 10 feet high bronze statue of Govind Ballabh Pant overlooking Rafi Marg in the national capital.
The artist, who participated in the 5th Tagore Utsav 2016 by Aseem Asha Foundation held here recently, says he always studies a personality before attempting to make his sculpture.
"It is crucial to understand a historical personality before attempting to bring him to a canvass. I study the person, including his height, weight, mannerisms, ideology and other traits. It gives me a definite picture of what I am going to make."
Awarded a Padma Bhushan this year, Sutar says he now wants to explore the medium of modern art.
"I am mulling to make a grand statue representing the never-ending desire of the man to climb the ladder of success. I never want to stop working," he says....