Sikh Art Exhibits in the UK
We are pleased to announce the reopening of the Without Shape Without Form Sikh art gallery, which features the most complete collection of artist Kanwar Singh’s paintings. This beautiful 7000 sq/ft gallery in Slough, U.K has been a labour of love for the artist and a skilled team of volunteers at the Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara. The exhibition is unique because the artist spent an entire year creating 15 new paintings exclusively for this project. The collection of new artworks on exhibit will be released steadily for online viewing over the next year on historically significant dates of the Sikh calendar.
Every December we remember the martyrdom of the Chaar Sahibzaade – Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s four sons. To commemorate the historic events which took place in December 1705, Kanwar Singh is releasing a new painting depicting Guru Gobind Singh’s eldest son fighting valiantly at the Battle of Chamkaur. It is titled, Baba Ajit Singh – The Khalsa Charge.
Slough, UK: Saturday 4th November on the day of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab there was an opening of a Sikh art exhibition at Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara in Slough. The exhibition, beautifully named: ‘Without Shape Without Form’ featured some the finest paintings by the artist Kanwar Singh from Art of Punjab.
I saw the poster of this whilst on my weekly visit to the Gurdwara and was amazed to see that this looked like something completely different on another scale and the artwork in itself just made me stop and read about the exhibition to find out more. I then read up a bit more about the exhibition and knew this was definitely not something that had been done before because it was revealing 15 new artworks specially created that had never been seen before and I was really excited for this date to come quickly so I can visit the exhibition. I spread the word to family and friends and when the day came and I went to see the exhibition I was totally lost for words.
The set up and the layout of the way the exhibition was just completely out of this World and so unique and then when you walk through and you read the details on each painting you can piece the Sikh history of our Gurus together easily without any complication because it is simply laid out in an easy way for anyone to understand whether someone is new into Sikhi or whether someone already has the knowledge. It was just so beautifully put together and I was just stunned to see that these selfless volunteers from Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara and Kanwar Singh have been working so hard and put in so much effort to produce this and who was it for, for us the public, for each and every person who wants to learn about the Sikh history can come here to view this exhibition and it is the first time something like this has been done and opened in the UK and is a permanent exhibition which will revolve over time.
There were over 5,000 visitors that came to see the exhibition on the day of launch. What a beautiful way to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab and with other sangat it was just an absolutely memorable experience. This is the month and the time where we remember the sahibzaade who sacrificed their lives and what they went through. We can learn so much from this exhibition and spread the knowledge to others because it is very important to never forget the sacrifices our gurus made for us.
Finally, there is a permanent exhibition in the UK which will continue to inspire future generations to express their love of Sikhi through the arts and to spread the knowledge of Sikh history with an emphasis on Gurbani. This gallery will be the permanent home of the dramatic Sikh paintings.
I truly commend all the people that worked non-stop to make this project happen and what a success it was and it was just such a lovely programme to attend. I saw so many people when coming out of the exhibition after seeing it all with faces looking completely taken aback and some of the things said were:
“How simple it was to understand our purpose in life and the Sikh history”
“I have never come to this gurdwara before but after coming today and seeing that they have done something to help spread the sikhi philosophy will make me want to come again and spread the knowledge to others”
“I came to this gurdwara once before and it felt so peaceful that I could not wait to see this exhibition and I just am lost for words as it was put in such a simplistic way and I have learnt so much today, thank you to all of the people who made this happen”
These were just some of the things said but you had to be there to see the expression on everyone’s faces.
The day of launch not only had this exhibition opening but there was a marquee with children doing lots of art activities themed around gurbani and again educating one another and this marquee had at least 10-12 tables with each table having a topic that the children would create something using some form of art or calligraphy. This was so inspiring to see that young children had so much love for Sikh history and knew so much already. They also had an area where the children’s artwork was displayed. This really made me feel so touched just to see families, children, young and old come together to visit this amazing exhibition from all over the country.
We are now in the month of December and I still have not fully absorbed all the information I took in from the exhibition so am going to visit the exhibition again as it is opening on these dates: Monday 25th December 4-7pm & on Sunday 31st December 6-9pm.
Please don’t miss out if you have not had the chance to see it. There is no better way to spend some of your holidays as this is well worth the visit. Please spread the word to family and friends and let’s spread the love and knowledge of our Gurbani and history of the Guru jis.
If you would like to see some of the spectacular highlights of the launch of the exhibition without shape without form it will be coming on the Sikh Channel Sky 829 on Saturday 23rd Dec at 9.30pm & Sunday 24th Dec at 8.30pm.
I hope you will all take out some time to visit this exhibition and please send in your thoughts to us.