In conversation with Dr. Alihussein Tarwadi
Art or science? People often make this crucial choice early in life and often, it’s set in stone. Some gifted individuals pursue both and what’s more, they make their art compliment science.
Master of both, Dr. Tarwadi is an orthopaedic surgeon and artist. Find out how he treats arthritis during the first hour and doodles the next. Warning though, it may get graphic(ally pleasing)!
Art for me, runs in the family
A little bit about yourself. Have you had any formal training in art?
Well, I am 37, married and a father of 3 amazing kids. Art for me, runs in the family. It started with my grandma (dadima) who was a very good artist and what I may say, a practitioner of the home based entrepreneurship making art pieces and garments. Even my dad, uncle and aunt are all artists by nature. I have had no formal training in art but just started with simple pieces from school times. It has developed to what I can do now.
What is a typical day in your life?
A typical day in my life involves seeing trauma/accident patients from the Accidents and Emergency (A&E) department, operating on the patients that need surgery and seeing my patients who have already been operated on. I also run a very busy outpatient clinic where I see cold orthopaedic cases like back pains, arthritis, ligament injuries, old injuries and such. In between, if I get some time to rest, I pick any type of paper and my handy pen and doodle something (all my pen drawings are done at work). I mostly do my drawings over the weekend when I get the afternoon off.
I take a picture and try to recreate the same realism in my drawing
How did this hobby come to be?
I have an interest in realism art where I take a picture and try to recreate the same realism in my drawing. I mostly like using graphite pencils but I have tried charcoal and paint also. I want to try pencil colours and pastels next.
I have learnt a thing or two that has made my next piece better, more realistic
Which artwork is your most favourite piece by far? What was the inspiration behind it?
I don’t have a favourite piece because every piece has given me a sense of tranquillity and from each piece, I have learnt a thing or two that has made my next piece better, more realistic. I love drawing faces, it is the challenge in it that I like – to get the drawing to look as close to the real picture as possible. Normally, if you make a mistake in drawing a house or animal, the mistake is not easily noticeable but a mistake in recreating a face is very noticeable.
Being an artist helps my profession in certain ways
Does this add to your profession of an orthopaedic surgeon? Or is it more like an escape?
Art has been an on and off thing for me and more of a gateway to escape from it all but being an artist helps my profession in certain ways; my wound closures are neat, my bone alignments are almost straight (being an artist gives you some sort of OCD I guess) and it helps in my patient record making as I draw the injured parts with the injuries so it makes it easy for the next person reading my notes to know what’s happening.