Gobelins of Olim Ismoilov

Issue #2 • 1721

Twenty years ago a master from Ferghana, O. Ismoilov made his first gobelin “The Light Night”. But till now it, like many others, has preserved its romantic mood, mild and bright colours of strong threads.

Since then the artist, by means of tapestry, has tried to open new and new themes. The art of gobelin (the word takes its origin from a name of yarn dyers, the Gobelins living in Europe in the XV c.) became widespread and popular in Uzbekistan in the second half of the XX c. O. Ismoilov considers that this not traditional for us field of creativity also includes themes concerning local culture and nature. Lessons of carpet weaving Ismoilov received at experienced Ferghana masters have become his first step on the way of gobelin making art. The artist knows well traditions of carving and painting on ghanch, the art of ornament, what helps him to enrich the decorative composition of his gobelins.

Many works of O. Ismoilov are full of lyric and symbolic meaning; in particular, in his work “Sarob” (“Mirage”) appears some synthetic oriental image reviving the verses written by a famous Kokand poet, Furkat in his staying in Kaxgar, far from his homeland:
Furkat like a strayed dog
Doesn’t know where to go.

In the gobelin we can see a caravan, a traveler going in dunes and musing upon the distance. There, on the horizon, the walls of ancient city are hardly seen. A sad but appealing to the hope landscape like music fills up the soul of a spectator. Philosophical vision of life finds its reflection in the gobelin “Hovuz buida” (“At the pond”). A girl in a red dress is sitting in the doors of small clay house, beside a pond and old cut Spanish broom reflected in the water; a big stone reminding a tortoise. In this simple landscape one can feel a devout wish of the girl.

In the work “The Light Night” there is a moon, which like an earring is shining above domes of ancient monuments. Night mysterious sough of karagach (planes) makes to be under charm. Looking at the landscape composition, at first glance seeming simple, you suddenly remember wonderful verses of a famous poet Chulpan:
At the dark night, looking heavenward
I’ll ask about the brightest star.
And the star, getting rose with her neck adroop,
Answered: “I see her in my dreams”.
She is magically beautiful,
More beautiful than moon and day.

It is impossible to miss a typical feature of the artist’s creativity – he doesn’t look for exotic subjects but exposes a life in its everyday real nature. It is especially notable in the works “Hserozlar tangi” (“The cockfight”), “Badanalar”(“Quails”) and “Ov” (“Hunting”).

Feelings and emotions of the people much more form the essence of these works than their fable. In “The cockfight” the artist bases a composition on a circle, this eternal oriental symbol of life continuity and cycle. The author emphasizes emotional atmosphere of the picture exposing people and birds by means of symbolic drawing in deep red colours. The composition itself reminds “The Dance” of a French artist H. Matisse. In the gobelin, in the account of deep red colour, interpretation of figurines in different postures, balance and proportions, the idea of eternal cycle of the life obtains very bright and presentative meaning. The same principle of composition is in the work “The bathing” where bathers form a circle in the water. A circle, the artist uses often, has become a sign motif reflecting some archetypical concepts linked to the idea of stability and regularity of life processes. A circle is a concise symbol of care and protection. Thus a circle forms a constructive base of yurt, and the Uzbek word meaning admiration and caress – “ailanayin”, correspondent to Russian words “my dear” and “deary” (ad litteram: “let me be a piacular offering”), has a radical “ailana” – circle.

A devout wish of O. Ismoilov is that each house would have a gobelin, which would serve a symbol of welfare and harmony. His gobelins contain a simple wisdom of life, exactly this idea lays in the basis of a circle of his works, which soon will be exposed at his personal exhibition in America. Good is a great force of the art and it forms a creativity of the artist from Ferghana.

Author: Nodir Normatov

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