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Saranjit Birdi

I work with a variety of art forms, often in combination, underpinned by my foundations as a dancer and architect. These range from drawing, performance and dance-based installation, painting, digital collage and animation, and public art/sculpture.

I set up a professional arts practice in 2000 after working as an architect for over fifteen years. In the last two decades recurrent themes have emerged as Series as follows

Flora Series - These are my most recent works and, as with those featured below, extend traditional drawing and painting into performance installations, animation and light projections. 'Seed Lights' Light and Sound Event  (2023-24) comprises of a series of paintings partly inspired by flora in the gardens and Herbarium Collection of Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham, UK. The paintings were originally shown in the historic house art gallery spaces in an exhibition ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ and ‘Poiesis’ (2023). The painted images were then developed into an animation to music and projected onto the outside walls of the house in an event that event that included live saxophone, poetry and interactive drawing. I am interested in how flora, human beings and digital technology integrate and sustain each other. It also gives me an opportunity to explore limitless possibilities of form and colour. As with other projects, I engaged local community groups  to contribute to the project.

Ambidextrous Drawing Series - Drawing is a major element of my arts practice. In 1997 I discovered an unusual ability to draw, accurately,  with different parts of my limbs, hands and feet. I believe this stemmed from my dexterity as a dancer and skills in drawing.  This developed into Arts In Health commissions  where I worked with people with physical impairment and complex needs in creating co-collaborative artworks my first exhibition being ‘Thisability’ in 2009. Subsequently, a major MA Thesis at Goldsmiths, London. (2015) combining Arts In Health practice with theory, looked at the continuous spectrum of ability-disability-superability. With the support of the Arts Council of England, his has grown into a drawing performance series ‘Mapping Bones’ (2017 on), collaborating with poets and musicians.

War, Conflict, Territoriality Series - In 2008 I created ‘Capture’ for my MA Fine Show (Birmingham City University), a three-dimensional painting created through throwing paint (action-painting), dance  movement and percussive sound in a 4.5m cube construction. The second work, ‘Paint Box’ featured myself and a kick-boxing / dancer throwing paint in ‘battle’ to music, again in a constructed box. This developed into the  ‘Bombed’ Series about the WW2 blitzes in Dresden, Coventry and Birmingham, featuring oral history, dance and action-painting. From this point I also began creating and producing the music alongside performing in the work to create a ‘Total Work', which featured several dancers and a constructed stage installation. The series unfolded over eleven years as:

  • 2011-‘Bombed - A Moonlight Sonata I’ - Coventry Blitz, installation and performance at Herbert ArtGallery and Museum, Coventry UK .  Arts Council of England and Herbert Gallery support.
  • 2019-‘Bombed - A Moonlight Sonata II’ - Dresden Blitz, installation and performance at ex- WW2 munitions factory Dresden, Germany commissioned by Societaetstheater for ‘Szen:Europa’ Festival.
  • 2021-' Bombed - Full Circle' - Birmingham Blitz, installation and live performances in  Warstone Lane Cemetery, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham UK. Host Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project. Arts Council of England and Herbert Gallery support.
  • 2022- ‘Bombed - A Trilogy’, culminating installation, Herbert Art Gallery. Arts Council of England and Herbert Gallery support.

Also included  in this Series is video work ‘Interrogation’ (2008)

Additionally, I have several Public Art sculptures in the West Midlands. I tutor drawing and painting to local groups and online. I teach health and well being through art and dance conditioning, as a professional fitness instructor and am an active member of the underground jazz-fusion dance scene in Birmingham and other cities. 

In 1984 I qualified as an Architect from Bristol University and have lived most of my life in in Birmingham, a city and community that has greatly influenced my arts practice and works.

Critical research includes MFA fine Art 2015, Goldsmiths University, London  and MA Fine Art  2009, MA Interior Design with Information Technology 1998 Birmingham City University .



2015 - MA Fine Art Goldsmiths University,  London

2009 - MA fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham

2009 - Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 2008 - Postgraduate Certificate in Fine Art, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

2007 - Developing Arts for Health, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK

1998 - Master of Arts (Distinction) in Interior Design and Information Technology, UCE Birmingham (now Birmingham City University), Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

1997 - Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in Interior Design and Information Technology, UCE Birmingham (now Birmingham City University), Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

1987 - RIBA Part III (Royal Institute of British Architects), Bristol University, Bristol, UK

1984 - Diploma in Architecture, Bristol University, Bristol, UK 1982 - BA Hons Architecture, Bristol University, Bristol,


Associate of Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (ARBSA)

‘Seed Lights’ 2024 - Light and Sound Event, Winterbourne House and garden, University of Birmingham, UK and Birmingham Botanical Gardens, UK. 'Secret Life of Plants’ and  ‘Poeisis’ 2023- Exhibition of paintings, prints, small metal sculptures and animation based on flora and botanical themes. Gallery in Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham  10 Msrch - 3 September 2023 ‘Bombed - A Trilogy'  2022 -Exhibition with installation, performances including new sound-based performance work ‘Codes’ and live stream presentations Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.  Supported by Arts Council of England Herbert Gallery. ‘Bombed- Full Circle ' 2021- Light and Sound event with large-scale projection at Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham.  Supported by Arts Council of England and Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project,UK.  Solo exhibitions 2011 - 'Bombed- A Moonlight Sonata', Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, West Midlands, UK 2010 - 'Thisability', Solihull Arts Complex, Solihull, Birmingham, West Midlands 2008 - 'See, Saw' (video and photographic installation), Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square, Stafford ST16 2LD 2005 - 'Expansions'- multimedia exhibition, RBSA Gallery (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), St. Pauls Square, Birmingham 2004 - 'Follow' - multimedia exhibition, RBSA Gallery (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), St. Pauls Square, Birmingham Group exhibitions 2011 - 'Limits' performed as part of 'Blood Sweat + Tears' at Folkestone Triennial Fringe Festival, Folkestone Fringe Triennial, Folkestone 2010 - 'Interrogation' - video work, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 2010 - 'Making Sense', Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford 2010 - 'SUR-FACE', The Works Gallery, Birmingham 2009 - Exhibition 'Move-meant' - Videoworks 'Country Of Fossils', 'Birdsong', 'Sometimes I get a Fever', 'The Navigation' and series of photograpic works and light painting on canvas , The Dance Workshop, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands UK 2009 - Exhibition 'Travel and Movement' - Photographic work 'Take me with you', Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UK 2008 - 'Interrogation' - (1st Prize for Video) Wolverhampton OPEN 2008 Exhibition , Wolverhamton Art Gallery, Lichfield St., Wolverhampton WV1 1DU Degree shows 2009 - MA Fine Art Show, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, UK Live/Performance 2004 - 'Follow' - short dance film synthesis of Music, Dance and Architecture, Screened on BBC Big Screen, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham City Centre 2003 - 'Surge'- live performance and multimedia projections, Collide Commission - venue Living Room Bar, Birmingham Artist talks 2011 - Bombed- A Moonlight Sonata, Coventry Artspace Ltd, CoventryArtspace Public commissions 2010 - 'Under The Sun' - Gateway sculpture in Handsworth and on main vehicular route into city centre, Birmingham City Council Commission, Handsworth, Birmingham 2007 - 'Elemental' - Stainless steel sculpture and water feature set within pool. Collaboration with artist Richard Ellis., Bromsgrove Housing Association, Cross St., Wolverhampton 2002 - 'Seams of Time' - Sculpture Trail for Highley Village, Bridgnorth District Council and Highley Initiative Trust, Highley Village, Nr Bridgnorth, Shropshire 2002 - 'Urban Tapestry'- Crowd control Barriers Commission, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City Centre Multicultural festivals Competitions, prizes and awards 2008 - "Interrogation"-1st Prize for Video category Wolverhampton Open 2008 Competition, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Road, Wolverhampton WV1 1DU 2002 - Shropshire Pride Award 2002 for 'Seams Of Time' sculpture trail, Clients Highley Initiative and Bridgnorth District Council, Highley, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire Publications 2009 - Mention in “From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz: The History OF The UK Jazz Dance Scene” by Mark Cotgrove, Chaser Publications 1983 - 'Inside BBC' - featured on 'Asian Magazine' programme as poet, dancer and student of Architecture at Bristol University

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