By Sandeep Datta
New Delhi: Noted sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, honoured with Padma Shri this year, feels his recognition should now motivate authorities to open institutions to promote the art form in the country.
“Since sand art has now got recognition by the Indian government, I hope the government should open institutions for sand art,” Pattnaik, who hails from Odisha’s Puri district, told IANS when asked about his art form’s future and his expectations from the government.
Pattnaik, 37, had a difficult childhood. He could not attend school and was compelled to work at a neighbour’s house at a tender age of eight.
Asked about the significance of the award for him, Pattnaik said: “I can’t express my feelings in words. It’s a huge honour for me. Above all, the sand art got recognition.”
“As more young artists will be inspired by this, I think people will also be interested to learn more about this art form,” he added.
Having created awareness through his sand sculptures over issues like world peace, global warming, terrorism, HIV AIDS, and protecting wildlife, and many more, Pattnaik said he doesn’t feel any specific issue remains in his mind.
Pattnaik said he is planning to make a sculpture on the Yamuna river conservation, and his next photo exhibition could be held in Delhi.
Pattnaik has represented India in 50 international sand sculpture championships and festivals around the world and won 27 championships. He also holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Berhampur University, Odisha, which was conferred to him in 2012.