Artwork by Ghulam Abbas Khaskheli
I have always worked on nature (wildlife). The present government is paying a great deal of
attention towards nature. The way government is showing interest in nature, it is going to improve
furthermore in future. Life will be colorless without nature.
God forbid if animals should become extinct on our planet which they have equal rights to share
with us. Pakistan is already poor in forest wealth and whatever wildlife exists, it suffering at the
hands of pollution and poachers.
I don’t know if that was the reason for my interest in painting wildlife. No one seems interested in
this kind of art in Pakistan but I am sticking to my guns. I simply love to paint the animals of
Pakistan in their natural habitats very luckily; this is my job in the Wildlife Department of Sindh.
My interest in animals dates back to my boyhood, but here were little or no opportunity to pursue
my interest fruitfully. So I was sent to the university to do my master’s in economics, never
knowing that the job of an artist of animals was waiting for me. It was a God-sent opportunity,
and I grabbed it with both my hands.
I had seen paintings of lions loping off to stalk their game, peregrines in quest of small flying
prey, even dinosaurs and pterodactyls. I was interested in zoomorphic, caroling birds. But what I
saw in actual life were pariah dogs and palfreys and of course some frugivorous birds in the fruit
gardens of Sindh, what attracted me were their innocence. Beautiful jays, parakeets, minivets and
It dawned on me later that conservation meant maintaining a balanced relationship between nature
and man I was immediately inspired by the work of France’s society Protected des Animoux, the
Brigtte Bardot Foundation and Italy’s Anti-vivisection League. I wished something like these existed in my own country. And then I
heard the history of art presents some high watermarks in this respect.
Donatello (c.1386 – 1466) the Italian master, made the first bronze horse to be cast in the Renaissance. Francs Snyders
(1597 – 1657), the Flemish painter, is renowned as an exquisite painter of animals like the British
painter Sir Edward Landseen (1802 – 1873) and Sir Alfred Munnings (1879 – 1959). I wished I
could see their works. But I was inspired by the thought that I was not alone who loved to paint
animals, and my interest was spurred on with redoubled confidence.
Now I want to preserve on paper or canvas any animal I have the opportunity to watch and sketch.
It is a great fun, and I have now a collection of my own of which I am legitimately proud.
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