Permindar Kaur is a sculpture/ installation artist, whose approach to art is playful, using childlike objects to explore the territory of cultural identity, home and belonging. Kaur’s work investigates integration and belonging, particularly cultural identity and childhood. Through the exploration of adaption, mimicry and mirroring, she examines different strategies of integration and assimilation. She aims to challenge cultural constraints, acceptability and the rejection of difference. She uses simple forms, for instance furniture (beds, cots and chairs) and toys (soft, brightly coloured figures, trucks and animal forms). These objects resemble displaced domestic belongings, which have been distorted and manipulated to invoke the uncanny. They are deceptively familiar in their appearance and initially might remind the viewer of innocence, childhood and play belying their sinister undertones.
A running theme throughout all the work has been protection and defence. Whether through the use of armour, daggers or claws, any method of defence is limited and self-defeating. Soft fabric figures wearing armour/ claws hang limply unstuffed, unable to fight or shield themselves. Kaur often uses the teddy bears in her work not as toys but as more reflections on the present. Their identity is unclear but they are enticing frightening and seductive and en mass they are unnerving. She often combines extremely contrasting materials in her work, the softness of fabric and the aggressively sharp points of jagged metal. She alters everyday objects confusing the viewer, leaving them wondering if they are playful or dangerous.
Permindar Kaur has exhibited internationally; major solo exhibitions include Home, 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG (2020-21); Interlopers, University of Hertfordshire (2016); Hiding Out, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts (2014); Untitled, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick (1999); Comfort of Little Places, Aspex, Portsmouth (1998) and Cold Comfort, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Mead Gallery, Coventry (1996). Major group exhibitions include Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 (2021) YSP & UK tour; Ikon in the 90’s, Ikon Gallery (2021) Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2018) A Vision of Utopia, Spirella Building, Letchworth (2014), What’s Going On? Usher Gallery, Lincoln (2013); Spoilt Rotten: Young Curators, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales (2005); At Home with Art, Tate, London and touring (2000); Hot Air, Granship, Shizouka Arts Centre, Japan (1999); Pictura Britannica, Art from Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (1997); British Art Show 4, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff (1995). Permindar Kaur completed her MA at Glasgow School of Art, she lives and works in the UK.