Treasures of Nepal – Gary Wornell


Gary Wornell has spent an important part of his life giving meaning to the clays of England. In return, he learned to find ideas in things around him. He learned to respect various raw materials brimming with spirit. He realized that a skilled craftsperson understands their language like their own mother tongue and that takes their time reach its full potential. His curiosity-fueled love for craft brought him to Kathmandu one day in 2012. The more time he spent here, the more he absorbed himself in the crafts found everywhere – statues, jewelry, thangkas, etc. In 2013, when he travelled in the wider east and west of Nepal, art and craft still presented itself in all forms. Especially, he noted, in common local materials. Wornell found inspiration for ‘Treasures of Nepal’ when he was in Kathmandu in 2014. Initially, he wanted to photograph craftsmen devoted to their craft. But once he knew what he wanted to do, he went around various workshops in Kathmandu with his two Nepali friends and got down to work. Though halted by April 2015 earthquake, it gathered speed later that year.


The work in this book reflects his observation of Nepali culture, diversity, and skill – in short Nepali life. He notes how the legacy of the traditional craftsmen is caught in a fix. The allure of technology and a glamorous life in a foreign land might attract the children of these craftsmen away. Someday, their hands might be too frail to hold the tools that shape Gods and Goddesses.


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Wornell’s book is a visual pondering and further evidence of the craft we know. It is a documentation of the wonders created by the meticulous hands of the craftsmen who have done their time creating art, and have in return, been defined by it.

This is not a Book Review; this is just an effort to conveying information to the readers on rare and valuable books on art and architecture. This column aims to give a helicopter view on such books and thus presents the excerpts and illustrations either from the preface, introduction, jacket or main contents of the book from the shelf. This book was kindly provided by Mandala Book Point, Kantipath, Kathmandu (Tel. 4227711).


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