Metal flowers bloom in Amandurdy Meredov's workshop

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Metal flowers bloom in Amandurdy Meredov's workshop
Alexey Gimalitdinov

In the ancestral village of Nury Halmammedov, a bust of the brilliant composer of Turkmenistan is installed, and next to it is a metal sculpture of a crane with an egg. The author of this sculpture is the People's Artist of Turkmenistan Amandurdy Meredov.

As a boy, Amandurdy Meredov was fond of athletics, and as a promising athlete, he was assigned to a sports boarding school. Frequent guests of the boarding school were teachers of the Children's Art School named after Bashim Nuraly. Amandurdy was so carried away by painting that he gave up athletics. After graduating from art school, he entered the painting department at the Turkmen State Art School.

And then an incredible event happened in the work of Meredov: he turned from a painter into a sculptor, and not in clay, wood or stone, but in metal. Usually, over time, artists of other specialties become painters, and he - vice versa. In 2015, at the gala exhibition in the capital's Exhibition Centre, he presented an exposition of flowers, dragonflies and butterflies, which literally shocked all visitors with its huge size and original performance.

This year, the People's Artist of Turkmenistan Amandurdy Meredov, among four artists, was awarded the Bashim Nuraly Encouragement Prize.

With photojournalist Alexey Gimalitdinov, we visited the artist's studio. Unfortunately, there were no giant flowers and butterflies. According to the owner of the workshop, they found their second home in the village. Yashlyk. But there were many other interesting works of art. For example, next to the front door, a gecko was sliding down the wall, and a parrot was sheltering in the thickets of an indoor flower, a monitor lizard was overcoming a snake in a deadly fight, flamingos were flying up from a pond... All this and much more is skillfully made in metal.

But perhaps the most interesting work is the Flying Carpet. Amandurdy Meredov succeeded in conveying the powerful movement of the wind in his sculpture. For this work, the State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan awarded the sculptor with a TV set.

It was no longer enough for Amandurdy Meredov to create objects from metal, the artist’s talent demanded something more - wind, rain ... «You only have to really want to, and don’t give up until you get the desired result», he reveals his secret of creativity.

Once Amandurdy Meredov visited a tea house in Mary. He made many pencil sketches, and soon a series of chasings «Stories from the life of a teahouse» appeared on one of the walls of the workshop. With oriental humor, the characters of this ancient institution are conveyed, where you can relax, meet friends and meet interesting people.

The great pride of the artist is the design of the facade of the restaurant in Yashlyk. And there, indeed, there is something to be surprised at, some entrance doors, made in an openwork style of metal, reach 7 meters in height.  It's hard to even imagine!

Amandurdy Meredov has a follower - his son Dovletgeldi. And, despite the fact that he is a graduate of an art school with a degree in book graphics, he spends a lot of time in his father's studio, learning from his experience. So flowers, cranes, rain and wind will surely find continuation in Dovletgeldi's work.