Stitching gender and untold stories
By IANS | Published: November 3, 2021 07:00 AM2021-11-03T07:00:05+5:302021-11-03T07:05:15+5:30
New Delhi, Nov 3 He goes back a few decades a time when as a child he ...
New Delhi, Nov 3 He goes back a few decades a time when as a child he could not take his eyes off whenever his older sisters stitched diverse patterns with multiple coloured threads. He says the finished garment would 'say' a lot to him things tough for a child to express.
"I would never be able to explain but the effect the whole process had on me was nothing short of magical," remembers artist Gurjit Singh, recipient of the prestigious Inlaks Fine Art
Award 2021, whose works will also be displayed at the India Art Fair 2022.
For the Inlaks project, he explored the theme of love by creating artistic works using cloth and embellishing them with beads and sequins.
It has been a long journey for this young artist, originally from village Algon Kothi in Amritsar, Punjab. For someone who believes that one does not choose his artistic expression but vice-versa, growing up in a family where art is celebrated in different forms like knitting, embroidery and crafting made him decide quite early what he wanted.
Believing that in the divergent world we live in, where multiple cultures, ideologies, religions and genders co-exist and make space for themselves, clothing plays a vital role in differentiation and recognition, this artist, who makes contemporary soft sculptures emerging from childhood memories and his struggles, says, "One just has to look closely to decipher the many layers for our insides through what is used to shield the body," says this Amrita Shergill Award recipient.
From exploring themes of gender, including LGBTQ, people's untold stories and emotions that reject every name and definition, Singh, who was part of KHOJ International Artists' Association PEERS 2019 smiles that despite formal training in art, he was not really tempted to take up what can be termed as 'mainstream' mediums.
"From the very beginning, I knew my true calling. Nothing else could tempt me."
Insisting that he feels 'successful' whenever the thought process behind his art pieces get conveyed, the artist, who was also part of the Sculpture Residency, Baroda 2019-20,
adds, "For an artist, it is important never to underestimate the intelligence of the viewer. Every art work conveys multiple meanings emerging from the same core. Different people take away diverse things from them that is the beauty of art."
Currently working on multiple projects, he says that his work addresses LGBT issues, including "happenings which take place behind closed doors, aiming to share these hidden stories and narratives with society."
"My art also questions the many stereotypical terms, ideas and how people conduct themselves in the contemporary society."
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