Approved: 16.08.2006

Saranjit Birdi

Artist

Approved: 16.08.2006

My arts practice is a synthesis of Drawing, Dance, Music and Architecture. These inform and underpin my  drawing practice, sculpture work and film-poems. In drawing and painting I am interested in the human figure, portraiture and the abstract and using the whole body as a tool for drawing. In public art and sculpture commissions I aim to create site-specific work with a historical narrative, sense of place, and  a story to tell. I often using text and poetry as layers within the work. 

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      Biography

      My arts practice is a synthesis of Drawing, Dance, Music and Architecture. These inform and underpin my  drawing practice, sculpture work and film-poems. In drawing and painting I am interested in the human figure, portraiture and the abstract and using the whole body as a tool for drawing. In public art and sculpture commissions I aim to create site-specific work with a historical narrative, sense of place, and  a story to tell. I often using text and poetry as layers within the work. 

      As a polymath, I am interested in the value of skill mastery and the human need for touch, in this age of the digital. Trained as an Architect and dancer, my drawing practice utilises the instrumentation of the whole body as a tool, its 'totipotentiality', and associated social and physical limitations. Exploring human evolution and cognitiont hrough the act of drawing, my collaborations with Universities and arts-in health organisations bridge art-science thresholds and ability-disability spectrum. My inspirations are the ideals of the European Renaissance enlightenment in the arts and sciences.

      My gallery installation works includes live and video dance performance, performance-drawing and action-painting within sculptural constructions engaging with current topics of territoriality and war conflict. 

       In 1984 I qualified as an Architect from Bristol University and have lived most of my life in in Birmingham, a city and community that has greatly influenced my arts practice. As a full-time architect 1984-1994 I mainly worked on social housing and community projects. From 1996-2006 I worked as a part-time project architect on hospital ward design, allowing me time to explore digital technologies and make a practice shift from architecture to art. Drawing on my experience as jazz musician (percussionist) and dancer, I now work with a range of traditional and modern media including painting, drawing, sculpture, dance on film, digital image and performance installation. I set up my professional arts practice in January 2000 and have an expanding portfolio of public sculpture commissions. I teach and facilitate 'Painting to Music' and 'Sketching to Jazz' arts sessions in my studio and adult learning centres, as well as drawing and disability workshops on arts-in-health projects,

      My collaborations with other artists have included gallery installations, light and buildings, stage design for theatre and opera. I offer workshops and for the Arts in Health sector in hospitals and daycare centres for people with disablity. After receiving Arts Council support for Research and Development using drawing and arts for rehabilitaion I have established a collaborative relationship with the University of Birmingham's Schools of Bioscience and Psychology engaging with my arts practice.

      Critical research underpinning my work was carried out at Goldsmiths University, London (MFA fine Art 2015), Birmingham City University ( MA Fine Art  2009, MA Fine Art 1998)

       

       

      CV & Education

      Qualifications and training

      2015 - MA Fine Art Goldsmiths University,  London 2009 - MA fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham 2009 - Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 2008 - Postgraduate Certificate in Fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 2007 - Developing Arts for Health, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK 1998 - Master of Arts (Distinction) in Interior Design and Information Technology, UCE Birmingham (now Birmingham City University), Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 1997 - Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in Interior Design and Information Technology, UCE Birmingham (now Birmingham City University), Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 1987 - RIBA Part III (Royal Institute of British Architects), Bristol University, Bristol, UK 1984 - Diploma in Architecture, Bristol University, Bristol, UK 1982 - BA Hons Architecture, Bristol University, Bristol, UK Solo exhibitions 2011 - 'Bombed- A Moonlight Sonata', Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, West Midlands, UK 2010 - 'Thisability', Solihull Arts Complex, Solihull, Birmingham, West Midlands 2008 - 'See, Saw' (video and photographic installation), Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square, Stafford ST16 2LD 2005 - 'Expansions'- multimedia exhibition, RBSA Gallery (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), St. Pauls Square, Birmingham 2004 - 'Follow' - multimedia exhibition, RBSA Gallery (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), St. Pauls Square, Birmingham Group exhibitions 2011 - 'Limits' performed as part of 'Blood Sweat + Tears' at Folkestone Triennial Fringe Festival, Folkestone Fringe Triennial, Folkestone 2010 - 'Interrogation' - video work, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 2010 - 'Making Sense', Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford 2010 - 'SUR-FACE', The Works Gallery, Birmingham 2009 - Exhibition 'Move-meant' - Videoworks 'Country Of Fossils', 'Birdsong', 'Sometimes I get a Fever', 'The Navigation' and series of photograpic works and light painting on canvas , The Dance Workshop, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands UK 2009 - Exhibition 'Travel and Movement' - Photographic work 'Take me with you', Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UK 2008 - 'Interrogation' - (1st Prize for Video) Wolverhampton OPEN 2008 Exhibition , Wolverhamton Art Gallery, Lichfield St., Wolverhampton WV1 1DU Degree shows 2009 - MA Fine Art Show, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, UK Live/Performance 2004 - 'Follow' - short dance film synthesis of Music, Dance and Architecture, Screened on BBC Big Screen, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham City Centre 2003 - 'Surge'- live performance and multimedia projections, Collide Commission - venue Living Room Bar, Birmingham Artist talks 2011 - Bombed- A Moonlight Sonata, Coventry Artspace Ltd, CoventryArtspace Public commissions 2010 - 'Under The Sun' - Gateway sculpture in Handsworth and on main vehicular route into city centre, Birmingham City Council Commission, Handsworth, Birmingham 2007 - 'Elemental' - Stainless steel sculpture and water feature set within pool. Collaboration with artist Richard Ellis., Bromsgrove Housing Association, Cross St., Wolverhampton 2002 - 'Seams of Time' - Sculpture Trail for Highley Village, Bridgnorth District Council and Highley Initiative Trust, Highley Village, Nr Bridgnorth, Shropshire 2002 - 'Urban Tapestry'- Crowd control Barriers Commission, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City Centre Multicultural festivals Competitions, prizes and awards 2008 - "Interrogation"-1st Prize for Video category Wolverhampton Open 2008 Competition, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Road, Wolverhampton WV1 1DU 2002 - Shropshire Pride Award 2002 for 'Seams Of Time' sculpture trail, Clients Highley Initiative and Bridgnorth District Council, Highley, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire Publications 2009 - Mention in “From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz: The History OF The UK Jazz Dance Scene” by Mark Cotgrove, Chaser Publications 1983 - 'Inside BBC' - featured on 'Asian Magazine' programme as poet, dancer and student of Architecture at Bristol University