Saturday, 29th April 2017
Release Date: 19th December 2006
MAJOR ART BREAKTHROUGH FOR BRITISH JAINS
One of the most talented living contemporary artists in Britain, Shanti Panchal, has unveiled a breathtaking masterpiece about the Jain faith at the Chelmsford Museum in Essex. Britain is home to 40,000 Jains, who belong to this ancient faith of non-violence and reverence for all life which was a major influence on Mahatma Gandhi. The painting entitled ‘Pad-Abhishek' is 5ft by 6ft and was commissioned by a wealthy diamond merchant from India. It depicts the ceremony of promotion of a Jain monk to Acharya, the highest rank within the monastic order.
The rich natural colours, use of a unique multi-layered watercolour style, and the simplicity and the serenity of the painting captures the essence of Jain culture beautifully. Jain temples and art are some of the masterpieces of ancient India and exhibited at international museums like the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Shanti Panchal's new painting is a contemporary addition to this vast artistic tradition, and the fact that it was accomplished in Britain shows how art knows no boundaries and can bridge diverse traditions.
So little is known about this community in Britain today, yet quietly and consistently, it is making a huge contribution to British life. The Jains are leaders in business and many professions, pioneers in education and the arts, and recently opened a multi-million pound new temple in Potters Bar surrounded by 5 acres of landscaped gardens. "Peace for this community does not merely embrace racial and multi-faith diversity - it also includes bio-diversity," explained Dr. Atul Shah, community leader and Chief Executive of Diverse Ethics Ltd (www.diverseethics.com), a media company which promotes diversity in Britain. Britain is very proud to have in its midst such a peaceful, creative and open-minded community whose values enrich our national life.
Shanti Panchal was born in India and has been painting in Britain for twenty-five years. He won the National Portrait Gallery/BP Portrait Award in 1991 and in 1994 was Artist-in-Residence at the British Museum. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times watercolour competition and has exhibited widely throughout UK and India. His collection is displayed at www.shantipanchal.com
The exhibition entitled ‘Shanti Panchal - In the Mind's Eye' is open to the public until 18th February 2007 at the Chelmsford Museum, Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 9AQ Tel: 01245 605700 Email: email@example.com
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