Max Mara Art Prize for Women Shortlist: Bhajan Hunjan

Portrait of Bhajan Hunjan by Dani Tagen

Bhajan Hunjan (b. 1956)

Bhajan Hunjan arrived in the UK to train as a painter and printmaker and after graduation from Reading University and the Slade School of Art, became associated with the politics and figurative work of the emerging Black British Art Movement. Since then she has developed a very individual visual language of free-floating lines, symbolic colours and shapes, repetition and script motifs that draw upon both her Sikh heritage and fine art abstraction to encourage viewers to reflect on social, spiritual and emotional environments.

Hunjan works extensively on public art commissions often in concrete, metal and stone. These are always created through community consultation for site specific spaces, and often in collaboration with other artists and local women’s groups. Significant external projects include St Paul’s Way (Tower Hamlets, London, UK, 2012); the Town Square (Slough, UK, 2008); Peepul Centre Floorscape (Leicester, UK, 2005). Recent projects include installation inside the Exbury Egg (2021), made during her stay in Thamesmead as part of Bow Arts Artists community in Thamesmead. She is also a committed artist educator working with young people and families to create site specific temporary and permanent installations.

Currently Bhajan is Artist in Residence on the Maria Lucia Cattani Project and Runnymede Explore/Stories Project with the National Trust.