Tell us about yourself?
My name is Harjinder Kaur Burmy (Bicky) born in Bristol now lives in Sunny Glasgow (It's never sunny lol)
Describe your style of art?
My art centres around the calligraphy of Gurbani. I create intricate borders and backgrounds and then write passages of Gurbani. I also create pieces that are in a more modern graffiti style.
How did you first get into your art?
It was during my 2nd pregnancy. I was getting items for my babies cot ready, i was about to place a small picture of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj in the cot and something hit me, and i thought This is just an artists impression of my guru, this is actually not going to do anything. So i wrote out the shabad 'thathi vao na lagayee' as i felt this would give my baby a better connection with our shabad guru and thus developing her relationship with Maharaj Ji (Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
At what point did you realise you may excel in this?
I started to put pictures up on social media and the enquiries about commissioning work began to come in immediately, its then that i realised that there was a strong demand.
Considering the stereotype of some Asian parents, what does your family think about what you do?
It was my mums idea originally to start writing Maharaj Ji Gurbani, and encouraged to get started. They are extremely proud of what i do and have always big my biggest supporters, especially my mum.
How does inspiration find you for your art?
Listening to Kirtan and katha, i become inspired by the Gurus work and take inspiration from intricate design work at Sri Harmandir Sahib.
Have you gone through a period when inspiration has been hard to come by?
Yes this happens alot! I get busy with the day to day, full time work, family ect - listening to Kirtan and Katha helps break the creative "block" which sometimes happens.
Take us through your creative process.
I start with making a practice sheet, I practice the writing out the Gurbani to get the spacing correct. And then i draw directly onto a canvas. An intricate hukamnama canvas can take 1-2 years to complete. Everything i create is created by hand, bespoke to the individual.
Who are/were your artistic inspirations?
Baba Deep Singh! He is amazing. He had an amazing jeevan and is a huge inspiration. He set up santiya classes where Gursikhs would learn to write bani and saroops of Maharaj Ji. I also follow the work of street artists and calligraphist such as El Seed.
How do you find showcasing your creation?
I always have chaupai sahib/anand sahib on during the creative process. I am always nervous just in case i have made a mistake, i always show my husband first.
Tell us about a particularly popular creation and why you feel it was so appreciated.
The calligraffiti style 'satnam waheguru' which combines street art grattiti is very popular.
What would you consider your biggest achievement as an artist thus far?
Definitely has to be receiving a commission from Glasgow Gurdwara to create a hukamnama canvas for them. It took 3 months of continuous work and end result with Maharaj Jis kirpa was beyond what i had envisioned it to look like.
How do you look to improve as an artist?
Practice Practice Practice!
Do you have anyone you would particular love to work with?
I would love to work with Wootz! The clothing range is amazing, its so now, so street and infuses Sikhi in a way which isn't tacky.
What do you do to relax?
Too busy being the mum of 2 little princesses - we mums dont do relax lol
Tell us about the relationship between your Sikh/Punjabi background and your art?
Through the art of calligraphy and writing Maharaj Ji's bani, is how i connect with my Guru (Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj) its our time. I feel so connected to each letter, its hard to explain, its like having an outer body experience and feeling pure Anand (bliss). When i started i actually couldnt even read Gurmukh/Punjabi, i feel as if Maharaj ji is moving my hand in a certain way and he himself is writing the Ang. Its such an amazing experience writing bani, i would definitely encourage other Guru Dha Pyaray (my Gurus Beloved Ones) to try.
In an ideal world, where would you like your art to take you in life?
In an ideal world my art would take me to Amitsar, Sitting on the banks of the beautiful sarovar at Sri Harmandir Sahib where if allowed i would help to paint the beautiful walls of the Gurdwara.
If you could showcase your work anywhere in the world, where would you do it and why?
Again I would say Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amitsar. I have been very fortunate growing up to have seen many Gurdwara around India but everytime i visit Darbar Sahib i feel like ive come home - its a very magical place
What is your favourite animal and why?
Peacock - beautiful and majestic
What do you think you were in your previous life?
Probably an old bibi, sitting and chilling on an old manja in punjab, looking at the beautiful scenery with my cup of desi chai.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Harian Belan - Hosharphur, punjab
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
Inspector gadget - i loved his go go gadget arms and legs. Being only 5 foot i have 'small girls problems' like reaching to cupboards! And with inspector gadget arms, well! I could anything - the amount of cupboard reorganising i could do is endless (my re - organising OCD kicking in now)
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