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Avtarjeet Dhanjal

Born 1939, Dalla, near Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

Avtarjeet Dhanjal started his career as a carpenter, blacksmith and signwriter. Later he attended the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh, where he specialised in sculpture and clay modelling. In 1970 he went to East Africa and taught in the Department of Visual Arts at Kenyatta University College, Nairobi until 1974. From 1974-75 he attended St Martin's School of Art in London; while there his experimental work in aluminium was noticed by Alcan Aluminium (UK) Ltd. He then spent a year at Alcan's factory at Tipton, Staffordshire. After some years living in London he moved to Ironbridge in Shropshire where he still lives and works.

Dhanjal's work draws heavily on his experience of Indian aesthetic traditions, blending them with the influence of European and specifically British modernist sculpture. He has been active in schemes to encourage cultural links between Asia and Britain, organising a Punjabi folk culture study trip in 1978 and a sculpture symposium in the Punjab in 1980. He also set up the Punjabi Institute exchange programme for students and teachers in the Punjab and Shropshire. He has served as a trustee of the South Asian Arts Programme, SAMPAD, based in BIrmingham, and is a member of West Midlands Arts Board.

His work has been exhibited at galleries in London, Bristol, Southampton, Sheffield, Glasgow and Belfast as well as international venues in India, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Austria and Russia. He was included in the Yorkshire Arts and Sheffield City Art Galleries touring exhibition 'Artist in Industry', 1983-84. He has been commissioned to make outdoor sculptural works sited in London, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Bradford and Cardiff as well as other commissions in Chandigarh, India; St Louis, USA and São Paulo, Brazil.

In 2015 the General Post Office, UK, published a commemorative stamp celebrating Avtarjeet Dhanjal’s 50 years of creativity.

See more at the Iniva web site.

Grown In The Field