JAGWINDER Singh is from a small village in Muktsar. The master’s graduate, who specialised in sculpture, from Shantiniketan, works on installations on socio-political themes, rituals, religion, and society. His terracotta installation on the Nepal tragedy, where 5,000 buffaloes were killed, which he depicts with horns and a small buffalo in the centre, has won him a scholarship of Rs 1,20,000 from the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi (PKB). It’s a proud moment for Singh, 25, who plans to use the scholarship resources in a project on the gypsy community in Punjab, and document their objects and life through art. “It is recognition of both your talent and effort and gives you wings to take your dreams forward,” says Singh.
The Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi has introduced scholarships for the first time. According to Diwan Manna, the Akademi’s new President, who has started the initiative, “The artists have been selected after screening their portfolios. Sudarshan Shetty looked at their original works and discerned their artistic and intellectual skills.” The scholarships have been named after living and past art legends from Punjab. The artists are looking forward to an exhibition of their works, which have won them this scholarship in a few weeks.
Mandeep Singh, who is from Khanna and specialises in printmaking, plays with textures, focusing on family and social themes. “The images are different from a painting, in terms of depth,” says Singh, who has done a portrait of his grandmother. “The art is traditional, not digital. This scholarship is a huge motivation. It will help me pursue my art in private studios. Drawing is my strong point, and I want to focus on creating larger works in black and white,” says Singh.
With a background in electrical engineering, Ashima Raizada, from Mohali, is a self-taught artist. She pursues painting and photography with equal passion. Involved with art since childhood, Raizada describes her work as abstract expressionism. Using acrylics and crayons, she is keen on exploring her inner world through paintings and her outer self through photography. “Sudarshan Shetty is my favourite artist, and meeting him, discussing my work with him, and getting a scholarship is a unique feeling. I now want to pursue a degree in art,” says Raizada. Her photograph of a binding shop in Sector 17, which showed the various objects there, was chosen the winner.
Meanwhile, Jaspreet Singh’s work is based on Guru Nanak’s philosophy that word is knowledge. The MFA graduate has painted a woman reading the Gurbani, with the world around her depicted with symbols of death, life, and success. In the background is the sea that depicts the many waves of our life. “Shabad is guru and that’s the premise of the entire series,” says Singh, from Mansa.
Documenting life in universities is Gurdeeep Singh from Barnala. He travelled across Punjab, and some parts of the world, to research and document walls in hostel rooms, and what students express on these walls. “It’s the sub-conscious of this generation that this project explores, and it will be in the form of photo essays, since writing is my passion,” says Singh. His winning entry shows a room in London which has a Bhagat Singh photograph against a wallpaper of red roses.
Family plays a part in the works of Simrandeep Kaur, Pranav Sood and Rajinder Kaur. While Simrandeep’s paintings explore nature and memories, Sood documents the life of 13 members of his family, with each character painted, showing his or her role in the family. Meanwhile, Rajinder’s ode to her mother is through sewing machines.