Jaskanwal Kaur, a recent Professor Emerita of Fine Arts from Chandigarh Education Department, lives a quiet, contemplative life that she fills with resplendent colours of contentment and composure. These hues form a vibrant palate of memories of 37 well lived years. Reflecting on them she presents a body of artworks titled Introspection, looking at what she calls, “emotions in motion” that have governed her course.
When she retired on December 31, 2018, she was immediately looking forward to working more. “Things such as food, water, and clothes are considered necessities, but for me, art is a necessity without which I won’t be able to lead a fulfilling life,” says Kaur. Her renditions are mostly abstract with pertinent symbolisms attesting to her cascading emotions. “One overlaps another. When one feeling ends, another is ready to take birth. In other words, when I was sad, I felt happy immediately afterwards. When worry consumed me, peace suddenly came about. When that ended, contentment became my companion. My entire life has been about emotions being in motion,” explains Kaur.
To illustrate joy through her works, she used soft colours and gradations on the canvas. She demonstrated misery through scratches, and pain reverberated through the use of pins as the main material. All these are graphic prints, a medium introduced to her by renowned printmaker Jagmohan Chopra.
The works on display were created as part of a three-month residency at Open Hand Studios at Le Corbusier centre in Chandigarh from January to March. As her exhibition goes live, of the many things she reflects upon through them, one strong memory pulls her to the man who helped her initiate her art practice when she had no inkling about art. That man was her father. Though he succumbed to serious health issues when Kaur was just 10, she believes that he lives in her memory and even in her art.