Nature & nurture inspires Shiv Singhs art
Art is a personal experience,and each sculpture and painting of Shiv Singh is related to his life,nurture and the environment he grew up in. So be it the sugarcane and corn fields he played in as a child in his village,Bassi Ghulam Hussain in district Hoshiarpur,the dance and hissing sound of the sarkanda,the flow of the choe,women feeding the bulls,footprints of buffaloes,cows,jackal,songs of the birds and insects find expression in his work,which is spontaneous,energetic,exuberant. Its for all to view,as the artist displays a range of his works titled World of Art at the Museum of Panjab University,and viewers also get a chance to turn the pages of a book/catalogue on Shiv,published by Foundation For Art,Culture and Education and gives a peek into Shivs work,his life,a chronology of his exhibitions and awards and personal and touching notes of Shivs friends and artist about his art. From then to now,the book records it all in a creative manner and it can be a good reference point for others too, the man of the moment also received the Face of India 2008 award at the function.
As Shiv takes you around the exhibition of his sculptures,paintings,drawings,he talks about how freedom is paramount for any artist to grow,and the need to change how students are taught in schools and colleges. You can teach technique,not art and I have never faced any saturation point,as my thought and inspiration are closely connected to my growing up years in the village. I use the local material around me and natural curves of nature to create and have not copied urban art. The environment influences your way of living,you cant ignore it, smiles Shiv. His series of paintings,bull and woman,on display here too,smiles the artist have been inspired by the women in the village,who would keep the first peda of roti for the bull. The entire srishti comes from the bull, Shiv stops at a huge brass sculpture,the image of which comes from the choe water. The water brings mud with it and when it dries,it breaks and looks like this. These are all visual experiences that you register and then translate into your work,be it brass,iron,copper,wood. There are no constraints,for it all comes from deep within me, Shiv says his fascination for black,a colour which has a strong character,too comes from the Muslim fakirs who lived in his village and wore only black. There was a truth in them that never escaped me and you too have to become a fakir,only then can you work as an artist, for Shiv,art is a way of life. Live it up!