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My interdisciplinary practice bridges gaps between tradition and innovation through a response to ancient narratives of Sikh literature and Punjabi folklore. These stories have generated a lexicon of motifs and themes that explore fantasia while relating back to the mundane. My work is a reflection of how human emotions are felt and represented in the realm of spiritual surrealism.

Over a range of mediums, including ceramics, embroidery, traditional painting and digital drawing, I create surrealist spaces infused with bubbles of reality in which one experiences both the other-worldly and the familiar. My visual work tells stories through Western and Eastern iconography while referencing mysticism and mythology. The resulting aesthetic combines influences from South-Asian miniature paintings and photorealistic imagery, creating story webs of figurative characters and ultra-fine detail.

Having received a rigorous education in Architecture and working as an Architect have inspired a defined sense of space into my two-dimensional worlds. The spatial formation and architectural references in my imagery are inspired by the built environment of Punjab and the various styles that constitute it, including Persian and Mughal.

Musically, I am devoted to training within Dhrupad and Khayāl vocals, two schools of Indian Classical Music. The former is the keystone of Sikh music through which the Sikh Gurus explored deep spiritual mysteries. My formal training has influenced my own operation of electronic jazz. I combine my classical understanding of rhythm and melodic modes (rāgas) with Western sound production to share my music through digital media and live performance.

This interlace between present and past creates palimpsest, resulting in a multilayered experience. My community’s history is at the forefront of my work and my aim is to evolve its ancient treasures and give them an honourable space within artistic spheres.

Keerat Kaur