Sew­ing Colour­ful Dreams

Re­cip­i­ent of the re­cently an­nounced Man­jeet Bawa schol­ar­ship ini­ti­ated by Pun­jab Lalit Kala Akademi, print­maker Ra­jin­der Kaur talks about look­ing ahead de­spite all odds.

India Today - - ART - _ By Sukant Deepak

It has been a long way for Ra­jin­der Kaur, re­cip­i­ent of the Man­jit Bawa Schol­ar­ship for print­mak­ing, an­nounced by Pun­jab Lalit Kala Akademi in July this year. This 26-year-old Masters in Fine Arts grad­u­ate (2015) from Gov­ern­ment Col­lege of Arts, Chandigarh, whose work My Mother’s Jour­ney got her the schol­ar­ship, says that the work was cre­ated for the woman who sewed clothes for neigh­bours to pay her tu­ition fee. “And she never in­sisted that I should join a course that of­fers some kind of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity. All her life, she wanted me to follow my heart,” says Kaur, whose father works in a spare parts fac­tory in Zi­rakpur, Pun­jab, where they stay. The young artist, who saw an art gallery and mu­seum for the first time in her life when she joined the art col­lege says that ever since she was a child, she in­ter­preted her dif­fer­ent moods through colours. “My mother found that very in­ter­est­ing and got me crayons. In class V, a young man who lived in the neigh­bour­hood told me about art schools.

Ever since that time, I was sure that I wanted to join one,” says Kaur, who made it a point to wear only the clothes stitched by her mother to col­lege. “Well, I would show her all lat­est de­signs in fash­ion mag­a­zines. She would do her best to make me some­thing sim­i­lar,” she says.

Stress­ing that fi­nan­cial back­ground and an “artis­tic en­vi­ron­ment” at home does not re­ally mat­ter when one is com­mit­ted to ex­cel­lence, Kaur dreams of hav­ing her own stu­dio one day.

Lament­ing the dearth of peo­ple will­ing to spend money on art in Pun­jab, Kaur, whose works were bought by artist Ar­pana Caur, hopes to have some ex­hi­bi­tions in Delhi in the months to come. “Let’s ad­mit it, when it comes to buy­ers, there's just no com­par­i­son to the metro cities,” says the artist. Talk to her about the schol­ar­ships and grants of­fered by the state gov­ern­ment and she is quick to in­ter­ject that though there might be a lot of talk about the cul­tural rich­ness of Pun­jab, but the same sel­dom trans­lates to re­al­ity.

In­sist­ing that it is not re­ally dis­ci­pline but in­som­nia that brings out the best in her, the artist says that she not re­ally thought about her ‘method’. “Well, all I can say is that I work at night and the dark­ness is mostly kind to my colours,” she says.

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