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C R E AT I V E P I O N E E R S

Anees Maani Sculpting a Jordanian Masterpiece

While strolling through the Jordanian National Gallery of Fine Arts Park, one can see children play in what appears to be a bean bag chair and a horizontal ladder. The meticulously crafted, abstract sculptures are the works of Anees Maani, an aspiring Jordanian sculptor who has made his mark on this forgotten art.

Sculpting is no walk in the park. It is an art that requires the dedication of both hand and mind. The process of designing the perfect piece requires proper research and sketching, before it could be transferred over to the manual labour of building the structure. This whole process can take substantial time, as most projects take countless hours to craft. The method requires a theoretical understanding of this complex art; a prerequisite that Anees Maani met when he attended the Building Academy in Volgograd, Russia. A motivated Maani returned to Amman with an adamant fixation of taking his interest and talent in sculpting to new levels. In 1996, he started a two-year apprenticeship under the supervision of the Jordanian sculptor, Nazih Owais. A lot can happen in ten years, and in the case of Anees Maani it certainly has. The artist who started with a chisel and a dream, is now receiving an increasing amount of exposure as his unique work displays in various venues. The sculptures he creates are not limited to stone forms, but also include wood and bronze creations. Some sculptures are created directly by finding or carving, while others are assembled, built-up and fired, welded, molded, or cast. Anees Maani’s work takes a Picasso type modernism, and a Nabataen minimalist approach. His constructions are fashioned by combining disparate objects and materials into one assembled piece of sculpture. Maani refuses to name his creations; a prevailing characteristic of modern art which gives the viewer space to think and imagine each piece’s meaning. Maani’s biggest influence is the weathered, rough landscape of Jordan - a fact that permeates throughout most of his creations. Anees’s contribution to the art community in Jordan is not limited to sculpture. He is also heavily involved in different forms of painting including acrylic on wood and pencil on paper. Maani is also concerned with supporting art projects such as the book Field Guide to Jordan, which documents different areas of the Kingdom’s varied terrain through maps, colour photography and informative descriptions of 146

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BEST OF JORDAN - Volume 2  

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