Indian art exhibition opens in Wednesbury

A splash of colour and a vibrant celebration of her Indian heritage has turned one artist's home-grown talent into an internationally-renowned career.

When Ranbir Kaur moved to the UK 30 years ago, little did she know that residing in the Black Country would take her art 'to the next level'.

The 64-year-old Indian-born artist is known for creating traditional Indian art called Rangoli, which has taken her across the globe.

Her artwork has been demonstrated across Europe, in places such as Germany and Istanbul, and further afield as far as Australia and South Africa.

"I never thought this would happen," she said.

"It was a dream come true, but I always believed in myself, coming to the UK took my art to the next level.

"This is my passion, I don't want to stop, I can't live without my work.

"I started doing it when I was eight-years-old, it's always been in my life."

The art is used to decorate the ground in front of houses and places of worship using decorative patterns marked out on the floor.

The highly-celebrated artist has received many awards, including when she received the Cultural Ambassador of Non-Resident Indians for contribution to arts in 2006.

In 2003, she also received a Guinness World Record for creating the world's largest Rangoli in Nottingham, which stood at a huge 163.5 square metres.

But before all this, she spent her early years in Uganda and Indian before moving to the UK in 1988.

Born in Ropar, India, she moved to Uganda at just 20-days-old for her father's work commitments.

She spent 25 years in Africa before moving back to India where she worked as a teacher and presented arts and educational programmes for national television,

She visited the UK to show off her art at an exhibition in Leamington Spa and eventually moved here in her late 30s, living in Halesowen, Perry Barr and Great Barr.

Since then, her bright and colourful exhibitions have popped up all over the country, most recently being spotted with an exhibition in Sunderland.

Her aim throughout her work has always been the same, to raise the profile of the arts and crafts of Asian women.

Ranbir said: "I like to teach people so that my work is remembered, I want people to learn about the art of Asian women, so that I can leave something behind.

"It's important for me so that Rangoli art is kept alive, it will be gone if we don't teach it."

Now living in Walsall, her new exhibition, A Journey Through Colours, is opening in Wednesbury and celebrates her 30-year journey in the UK, bringing together a wide range of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts inspired by her South Asian heritage.

Open to the public until June 20, visitors can gaze at the memorising artwork at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Ranbir added: “Celebrating 30 years in this country is overwhelmingly humble, and looking back on my journey since childhood makes me feel very proud of how far I have come.

"I’d like to say a big thank you to Sandwell Council's museum and arts service for their support with this exhibition.”

Entry to the exhibition is free and will be available during the normal opening hours for the art gallery, which is 11am - 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 2pm - 5pm on Saturdays. Last entry to the venue is 30 minutes before closing.

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