Shanti Panchal was born in Mesar, a village in Gujarat, India, and studied at the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai. He came to England on a British Council scholarship to study at the Byam Shaw School of Art, London from 1978-80, and has lived and worked in London since. He has been artist-in-residence at the British Museum, the Harris Museum in Preston and the Winsor & Newton Art Factory in London. He has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Britain and abroad.
He is renowned for his watercolour paintings, and has received awards at the John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool and the BP Portrait Award, at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and won first prize in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 2001, and in 2012 won the second. He won the prestigious Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize in 2015 and last year in May 2016 was awarded Eastern Eye ACTA for the arts.
His work is in many private and public collections, including the Arts Council of England, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, The British Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In 1989 The Imperial War Museum commissioned his painting The Scissors, The Cotton and the Uniform, and in 2012 also acquired his painting The Boys Returned from Helmand for their Collection and recently The Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Collection, London.
He contributed to a touring show At the Edge: British Art 1950-2000, at Touchstones Rochdale; Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston; Gallery Oldham and Bolton Museum & Art Gallery during 2009-10.
He represented the UK at the South Korea International Art Fair in Seoul in 2010.
He was an invited artist at the Tate Britain-initiated exhibition Watercolour in Britain: Tradition and Beyond, touring Castle Museum, Norwich; Millennium Gallery, Sheffield and Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle during 2010-11.
1988-9 Earthen Shades: Paintings by Shanti Panchal, organised by Cartwright Hall, Bradford and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, which went on to tour ten public galleries
1992 The Royal Festival Hall, London
1993 Shanti Panchal: New Paintings, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1998-9 Shanti Panchal: The Windows of the Soul at Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham and Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
2000 Shanti Panchal: Private Myths, Pitshanger Gallery, London
2001 Cartwright Hall, Bradford, Blackburn Museum and Art Galleries, and
2002 Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
2003 Shanti Panchal: A Personal Journey, a British Council touring exhibition in India
2007 Shanti Panchal: In the Mind's Eye, Chelmsford Museum.
2013 Shanti Panchal: Paintings of Exile and Home, Piano Nobile Gallery, London
2013-16 Shanti Panchal: The way of Watercolour, Hayletts Gallery, Maldon, Essex
2016-17 Shanti Panchal: The Ragas of the Dawn, Kings Place/Piano Nobile, London