“ALTHOUGH I love UK culture and British values, I am very proud of my Sikh heritage and culture. I was fascinated with Indian art from an early age.
“As time went on, I started creating pieces of artwork around my Sikh faith and culture. I studied art intensively, and during my final years at university the majority of my work was based on my Punjabi culture. I was also mesmerised by the art of henna and mandala patterns, which I practiced passionately.
“My recent work mainly contains the writings of the Sikh teachers in both English and Punjabi, to allow both Sikhs and non-Sikhs to connect to the essence of the teachings. I wish to use my art to spread positivity and happiness. Various people have influenced my work along my 12-year journey. Here are some of my inspirations,” said Amandeep Kaur.
Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh: From a young age, I have been fascinated by the work of twins whose work has been described as some of the most optimistic images of our multi-cultural world. The twins’ work draws largely on their own British experiences. They record contemporary events in the light of their religious faith as well as reinventing traditional miniature painting.
Amrita Sher Gil: A Hungarian/Sikh painter who had an intense longing to return to India used modern Europe painting to depict India and its people in a beautiful way. In my younger years Amrita Sher Gil’s work had a very strong influence in my artwork as I was mesmerised with her identity.
Frida Kahlo: The Mexican artist used her folklore and culture to create art from her own life experiences. Again, artists like Frida are heavily influenced by their own identities and this reflects in their artwork. This helped me find a clear path and developed a nice flow in my ongoing work.
Rupu C. Tut: The San Francisco-based visual artist explores themes of identity and displacement through her paintings. Rupu retains a strong connection to her Punjabi Sikh background and it continues to inspire and guide her artwork. Her artwork depicts the decorative Mughal miniature style and integrates her experience with her own immigration to the United States.
Kamaljeet Kaur: The artist has a natural flair for English and Hindi calligraphy, but it is Punjabi Gurmukhi in which she draws inspiration from. Drawing inspiration from the Guru Granth Sahib, working with the text feels like worship for her.
Jasmeet Kaur: Raised in New Delhi, she blends both art and Baani, Gurmukhi text to create beautiful artwork that stirs the soul. She presents the tranquillity of the Baani in all vibrant colours and forms, and composes artwork that encompasses all the beauty of the Sikh scriptures.
Akaari Maharani: The self-trained artist uses her heritage and love of colours as inspiration. Akaari’s art draws from her British Indian culture and is combined to create her beautiful, intricate work. Her work reflects traditional mehndi/henna patterns, peacocks and flowers.
Heather Stillufsen: She creates beautiful illustrations alongside words of inspiration to give hope to those who appreciate her work. Her daily life of art is to bring hope and brighten up days, but also encourage people to live life to the fullest.
Amandeep Singh: Also known as Inkquisitive, he creates distinctive, vibrant, brightly colour ink sketches where each piece of work tells its own story. He is greatly inspired by his Sikh upbringing and religious influences. ‘Sikhs are descendants of warriors and storytellers’ so we have a rich culture and heritage that is so inspiring. It would be a crime if I didn’t use some of that treasure in my own art.
Jamie Lock: She creates mandalas inspired by the traditional Indian art of mendhi and mendhi designs. Her work has evolved from creating henna designs on skin to ink, paper to carving intricate designs onto wood, metal, glass and stone.
- Amandeep Kaur is a British bespoke artist. Visit www.bespoke-art.uk and Instagram: @amandeep. kaur.bespoke.art