‘Statue of Wisdom’: Minimalist art is best form, says Yafet

Architecture is the arena of tremendous depth and dimension; and its various forms i.e. modern, gothic, classical, Greek, Romanesque, Neoclassical, Ancient Roman and Victorian leave us fully awestruck to the fact, one wonder as to how far human imaginations can get stretched. Click here to see the pictures.

In that context, AMU has been doing amazingly well for Architecture and Urban Planning course that is producing graduates, who went on to excel in it while few are experimenting with their artistic ardor by carving out or portraying things on different mediums in art form.

The latest sensation is final year student of Architecture and Urban Planning, Yafet Getahun, an ardent minimalist artist, who has sculpted a statue out of gravel. He took two months to sculpt it out that resembles ‘Statue of Wisdom,’ of US and gave it same nomenclature contextualizing pursuit of the university.

On what inspired him, he said, he loves sensitive parts as minimalist art is the most feasible one for it embodies social, economic and environmental concerns and minimizes use of resources for better quality. He also adds, ‘‘During school days, I had carved out face of a girl on the wall and angry white wolf, that had different social connotations.’’

A die-hard fan of American Artist, John Khon, Yafet prefers to use dry gypsum for such works and chisel them out maintaining natural hue. He said, he drew inspiration from ‘Statue of Wisdom,’ installed in New York Museum, but wanted it to have Ethiopian face with Roman vesture over it.

On technique, he said, ‘‘I have used chicken mess for covering the structure and its interior is hollow. First, I had made frame using metal ferrous through ‘Truss’ technique. Contemplating further, he adds, for a bigger statue, one must know type of metal required, weight, thickness and other parameters, which, will be compatible for a statue as large as human figure.

He said adding, ‘‘I had spent four to five hours every day for two months. The weight of the statue is around 300kg, and deliberately made its legs bit wider to maintain balance, otherwise everything is well proportionate, he averred.

The statue was unveiled by AMU Board Member, Dr Agena Anjulo and University President, Dr Damtew Darza on September 20, 2017, in the presence of others. It’s installed beside School of Post-Graduates Studies at Main Campus.

On his academic plan, he said, ‘‘I wanted to integrate such sculptures in architecture, and want to create bigger statues that will be an attraction for tourists in Ethiopia. Despite, pursuing my profession, I would focus on sculpture, it’s my personal desires, he added.’’

He revealed that there are various kinds of sculptures, which can be made using sands, soil, waste materials, but, he finds wood carving as the easiest thing, on the contrary, metal frame gives good strength but needs technology, resources, manpower, time, etc.

In future, he would like to utilize plastics to make different forms, hence, waiting to learn the technique. He adds, for me, it’s just the beginning, because, I have long way to go and learn a lot to reach to the horizon where I will be able to translate my imaginations into reality, he said.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate).