Sculptor Jaswinder Singh wins prestigious Sohan Qadri fellowship
Legendary painter Sohan Qadri (1932- 2011) started his journey from Chachoki village near Phagwara and it is befitting that a fellowship in his name went to another village boy, who after obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from Chandigarh chose to make his studio in his village in Punjab.
Jaswinder Singh (47), who sculpts in wood, is indeed rooted to the soil working diligently in his studio at his native village, Mehandipur near Khanna. He is the proud recipient of the first-ever Sohan Qadri fellowship of Rs 2 lakh for the year 2017. The fellowship is instituted by the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi from a grant given by Qadri’s daughter Purvi. It is indeed another innovative milestone by the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi chairman Diwan Manna.
Jaswinder, who has thus far been supporting his art by doing teaching assignments in different colleges, seems an ideal choice for he is a mid-career sculptor with a large body of work and several awards to his credit. Jaswinder said in an interaction on Friday, “I am feeling good and I hope to use this support by doing some experimental work combining wood and stone. I have long wanted to work in black marble and now I have the facility to do so.”
The wood sculptures displayed by Jaswinder on the occasion indeed speak of his talent and dexterity. In all, 31 artists from Punjab and Chandigarh, in the stipulated age group of 30 to 50, had applied for the fellowship. The jury comprised renowned artist and curator of Kochi Muziris Biennale Sudarshan Shetty. The process involved one-to-one interviews and a keen look at the original works of the artist.
“One hopes this fellowship will help in taking talented artists to the next step in the times to come and it is a happy moment for us that the first recipient is a sculptor who remained rooted to his soil by setting up his studio in a Punjab village and created good art, working against odds,” says Manna.