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Sarbjit Kaur

I am a visual artist, writer and poet. I have been experimenting with various ways of expressing myself for over 10 years, using writing, pencil, oil pastels and clay as some of my tools. My work has been exhibited internationally in Germany and Rome and locally at the Special Collections gallery – MMU, the Link Gallery, the Paper Gallery, Allery Gallery, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Z-Arts centre, the Waterside Arts Centre and the Contact Theatre. I have performed for Saffron Mic, the Urban Theatre Music project, Apples and Snakes and Kali Theatre. I am currently working for the Asian Triennial leading creative workshops.

In this Master's by Research study, I look at the social dynamics of male bias in British Punjabi Sikh communities. Using myself as a case study, I draw out personal narratives to reflect on the impact that son preference can have on an individual. I have used an artistic practice-led methodology that entails sculpture and poetry as tools to encounter the emotional and psychological imprints that this bias has left on me.

The artworks are also a means to manifest and reflect upon this confrontation outside my own body and mind. What was curious to learn was, a subjective inquiry using art was powerful in accessing the impact of this male bias. The resulting artworks resonated with other girls and women, who like me, have suffered and are suffering the consequences of this gender bias in UK Punjabi Sikh communities.

I would like to thank everyone who helped make this happen and a special thanks to Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD) and Manchester Metropolitan University.

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