Sikh Art – Beyond Sikhs – Paintings by Balkishan Jhumat


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Balkishan Jhumats’ fascination with Sikh art of the Punjab began when he was quite young. Intrigued by the richness of color and decoration that adorned the figures in the foreground and the romantic landscapes and dreamy vista’s that formed the background, he desired to paint the ‘Guru’ as he imagined them to be.

He states “My series on Sikh art, has given me the opportunity to draw the guru’s in appropriate clothing, of that period of Indian history. I used period head dress and ornamentation, jewellery, weapons etc. I used elements of fantasy for the landscapes, cloud formations, flora and fauna. The combination of my passionate study into Mughal art, with my own creative discipline, to produce this series of Sikh art paintings, has been a perfect and beautiful synthesis.”

As a result, Balkishan has created Sikh art using his own unique creative style, blending in Mughal art practice of pose, pattern,color etc. His paintings of his visual interpretations of the lives of the great and noble Sikh Gurus show a great emphasis on color, pattern and high detail. These paintings are a series of beautiful and thought provoking paintings, in compositions never seen before.

His great passion is Indian art of the mid 16th century onwards, the age of Mughal watercolors. This is when the amalgamation of Turkish, Iranian and Indian art disciplines fused to create beautiful and delicate paintings. This “Golden Age” of painting, which started during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar, revolutionized the ideals of figure drawing, perspectives, color, pattern and composition.

European art of the “Renaissance high art” period found its way into the Mughal court and was adapted and used. This enlightened age of Mughal art, with its hybrid style of Hindu, Turkish, Chinese and Iranian art disciplines had a positive and lasting effect. This is evident on the artistic depictions of a wide range of cultures and of religious communities of that period of Indian history. This is true of the art of Sikh paintings.

Balkishan studied for a BA in Illustration at the University of Wolverhampton in 1998. The course 'fine tuned' his knowledge of composition, texture, color and light. He graduated in 2001.He specializes in creating plants and animals in fine art. His work is unique, original and stylized. His recent work consists mainly in the use of pen/ink wash onto gold card. The result is a rich, opulent and ornate piece of fine art. He also works in mixed media, depending on the subject matter and client preferences. He is always interested in new commissions.

To buy his wonderful art please visit his website www.beyondimage.co.uk.

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