Art heals, says British artist Amandeep Kaur

Amandeep, now a primary school teacher, is one of the artists who's work are being exhibited at Leicester Adult Education as part of the Contemporary Sikh Art Exhibition, a project by Sikh Museum Initiative.

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Amandeep Kaur and one of her art works

By Asia Samachar | Britain |

British-born artist Amandeep Kaur has a deep and personal connection with art.

“Art for me has been a healing mechanism, as it has helped me find peace and calm during some incredibly turbulent times in my life,” she told Asia Samachar in an interview.

Amandeep, now a primary school teacher, is one of the artists who’s work are being exhibited at Leicester Adult Education as part of the Contemporary Sikh Art Exhibition, a project by Sikh Museum Initiative.

The exhibition, bringing together over 100 pieces of artworks by talented local, national and international artists, will run until May 30. It carries paintings, poetry, 3D printed material, Phulkari’s (traditional Punjab textiles) and some especially commissioned items.

Amandeep, a daughter of a foundry worker who later drove a taxi, has always been passionate about art.

“At a very young age, I developed a passion for drawing and creating art. I was always inspired and fascinated by Sikh and Punjabi Art,” she said.

She completed the A-Levels in Art, Punjabi, Philosophy and Psychology of Religion and English Literature, which she said had further ‘reinforced my passion for art and interest in my own Sikh identity’.

This was followed by a Foundation Course Diploma in Art & Design and also a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Visual Communication, specialising in Illustration.

“After my graduation, I got married and worked with my husband in the family business for 13 years. I recently decided to go back to university to complete my PGCE [Post Graduate in Education] and am now a primary school teacher,” she said.

Tell us about your parents?

My parents were incredibly hardworking and very family orientated. I was brought up within a traditional, Sikh family, where Sikh values were very important.

My mother came to the UK in 1956 at the age of 3 years old. She has worked incredibly hard over the years and she has always been an inspiration to me. She got married at the age of 18 and despite having 5 children and my grandparents to look after, managed to pursue her education during a time when women were not encouraged to do so.

My father worked in foundries and later as a taxi driver. He worked incredibly hard throughout his life and cherished his children. From a young age, we were always encouraged to focus on our education and complete our education to at degree level. My parents understood my passion for art and supported me with my decision to complete an art degree.

Amandeep Kaur

What made you get involved in the art scene?

Art for me has been a healing mechanism, as it has helped me find peace and calm during some incredibly turbulent times in my life. Art has been therapeutic and some of my work takes uplifting quotes from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which gave me hope. My artwork has been heavily influenced by my Sikh faith and Punjabi culture and heritage.

I put my heart and soul into every art piece I create and each one is personal to me. I hope to inspire others with my artwork, as drawing for me has become my sanctuary. My art has brought me closer to Sikhi and Waheguru Ji and I have learnt how the power of Gurbani can help lead a spiritual and peaceful life.

What is your favourite medium in the world of art?

My favourite medium in the world of art is using pencil. However, I experiment with a range of mediums such as pastels and paints. I like to use traditional mediums and have not yet attempted using digital art!

Which is your own favourite personal work of art? Why?

I have a few favourites but my current favourite piece of art is a drawing I completed this year of an initiated Sikh woman. Although I am not an initiated Sikh, I am very spiritual. In this artwork, I wanted to portray the power and peace that Gurbani gives to me when I listen and recite it and how it has helped me through difficult times. I found Guru Nanak’s quote ‘So why call her bad? From her, kings are born’, very inspirational and have used it in some of my recent art work. I wanted to portray the strength of all Sikh women in this piece.

Having two daughters of my own, I want them to feel empowered and give them the strength and confidence to know they can overcome anything and achieve their dreams. I have also incorporated my love for mandala and intricate henna patterns within this art piece.

How has been the response to the Contemporary Sikh Art Exhibition?

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to exhibit my artwork in several exhibitions over the past few years. The response from members of the public to the Contemporary Sikh Art Exhibition has been overwhelming. I have received positive feedback and it’s always nice to hear that my artwork has inspired other people. I have shared videos and photos of the exhibition on social media and received a huge amount of support and admiration for my work, which encourages me to continue on this journey.

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