Language Art • Sikh Word Ek Onkar
by Joyce Steinfeld used in sculpture in 2018 Open Studio.
This article was written by Sonia Dhami • Director of The Sikh Foundation International, edited from an interview by Sangeeta Luthra with Joyce Steinfeld.
Sikh Art at Silicon Valley Open Studios – May 5-6 2018
April 30, 2018
This year the Silicon Valley Open Studios allows you an opportunity to collect great art and also support the Sikh Foundation. Joyce Steinfeld, a Bay Area artist, will be displaying her Sikh sculptures at her Open Studio in Palo Alto on May 5-6 2018. She has generously offered to donate a part of the proceeds from the sale of these to the Sikh Foundation.
Joyce’s art interprets sacred scripts through abstract shapes and sculpture. In her work with Hebrew, Chinese, and most recently, Sikh scripts, Joyce explores the divine through abstract interpretations of sacred scripts. Her interest in sacred scripts has grown alongside a desire to become a sculptor.
The theme of unity is also very important in her work. She described her interest in the concept of “One” in different religious traditions. This is what inspired her to create the sculptural interpretation of the Ek Onkar because she was struck by the message of a unity within the diversity of all creation that is the message of Ek Onkar.
Joyce describes the concept of “oneness” across different spiritual traditions in the following way:
“We are all wearing different coats but we are all really the same.
Recognizing the “oneness” in different traditions is especially important for saving the environment – if we can see this, we will be able to work together for that purpose.”
Joyce’s values as an artist and human being resonate deeply with the Sikh concept of Ek Onkar and with Sikh tradition in general. The Sikh Gurus were steadfast in their respect for all humans and they celebrated the beauty and diversity of Waheguru’s creation in the poetic Gurbani they created and exalted.
Joyce's Art is truly a homage to something larger than the individual pieces she creates, or even to her own personal experience. Her art seeks to build bridges across religious and cultural communities and in the process reflects the essence of human existence – technology, art, representation, reality, and the divine. Ultimately when we consider this we are led to ask ourselves the question: is art also another form of prayer?
These sculptures are steel with powder paint. Each color requires a separate application of masking out areas not to be colored and then applying the color to the desired area. In powder painting, colors are baked on the metal. It is very unusual to see more then one color of powder paint applied to a art piece because of the process described above.