From the scents of the desert in the northeastern Jordanian desert, and with simple primitive tools, the artist Muhammad al-Azamat from the town of Umm al-Qattain, by carving on basalt stone, made wonderful artistic creations, and with his sculptures he paints unique artistic paintings that reflect the heritage of the Badia and tell the history of ancient civilizations.
He found nothing from a semi-arid desert region inhabited by nothing but solid basalt stones, which he shapes them in his own way, making them the most beautiful shapes, to prove that creativity comes from a strong will that does not pay any attention to difficult circumstances, whatever their nature.
Muhammad al-Azmath chose from a young age in the late seventies of the last century, carving desert stones as a way to show his art through elaborate design sculptures, embodying the most prominent aspects of the Jordanian Bedouin life, linking the past with the present, and ancient civilizations with modernity.
Matter and the ocean … artist’s inspiration
The solid basalt rocks cover the vast lands of the Jordanian desert, which he chose the bones to carve his own drawings on, to remain an eternal testimony to his talent, by virtue of its strong resistance and unaffected by weather factors.
Al-Azthat tells Anatolia that his choice of basalt stones was not random, as he cited the Romans and Ottomans using them in a number of historical sites in Jordan, and for preserving their shape and hardness.
He added, “Basalt stone is a tremendous wealth in Jordan, and it is long lasting. After research, we found that these stones are suitable for art and construction because of their economic benefit,” calling for their exploitation as a “home treasure.”
And he showed the bones that his sculptures, which are represented in written phrases, Quranic verses, figures, animals, birds, utensils, pictures of famous people, etc., have a great financial return.
Ambition to expand
The talented artist added, “Our ambitions are to train and teach this profession, and we hope to study this art in art colleges in universities because of its tourism and economic benefit.”
“Through UNESCO, I trained 160 girls, and trained a delegation of 18 women from Sweden on how to carve on basalt stone,” he added.
“We are trying to show ourselves for the sake of achievement, and tourists come to us not through the tourist map, but through what they see on social media,” Al-Adhamat said.
He considered that the art of exploiting basalt rocks is not only sculptures, but also building and aesthetics of cities.
For his part, Faisal Al-Ajian, Director of the Culture Directorate of Mafraq Governorate (affiliated with Umm Al-Qattain), said in his speech to Anadolu Agency that Muhammad Al-Azamat is an exceptional Jordanian talent, and that his personal effort and creativity in carving on basalt rocks was able to create a new artistic approach.
He explained that “we consider it to establish a method and a school through which it can direct the exploitation of the natural resources located in Mafraq Governorate.”
The Jordanian official stressed the need to adopt this approach and support the establishment of a sculpture training school, especially on the basalt rocks that are widespread in the desert.
Al-Ajian pointed out that “the idea of bones and his creative art contribute to the creation of job opportunities for large numbers of unemployed youth.”
He pointed out that marketing this product requires a permanent exhibition to be held in the capital, Amman, to display the products to local and expatriate interested parties.
Al-Ajian added, “This art must be supported by the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Promotion Authority through sculptures of the most prominent sites and monuments of Jordan and displayed through diplomatic institutions operating abroad.”