Ecology and Culture
Since 1986 I have conducted innumerable art workshops focussing on Earth Experiences for people from villages, Tribals, children from slums, art students of various art colleges in Bangalore, for art teachers of DSERT and NCERT, and adults and undergraduates from Germany and US.
'Earth is an extension of our own body. A walk through it can be a great revelation. When she walks, she learns what her body yearns for – recognising and remembering the land and water, recognising and remembering her body, layer by layer. She would be surprised when her body finds her true home. She would be surprised to find herself.
Her walk through the land would be a walk through herself.' (Body and Earth , C.F.John and Thomas H. Pruiksma)
The workshops aimed towards an exploration through and in Art to evolve forms and language rooted in such Earth Experiences, guiding to understand true creativity, is also a channel for authentic knowledge and spirituality.
It was an attempt to connect with nature and to understand creativity and art that is fed and stimulated by Earth and Life. Where nature would not become mere backdrop or ambience but to draw our Experiences, Thoughts and Arts from the Earth to be grounded ever more in it. Hence to allow the possibilities of creative expressions of an earth consciousness.
The earth with pluralistic vision serves as a basis in this search. For every person the earth reveals new and multiple meanings. The earth is never static, never silent, never still. The earth transcends the limitations as it transcends the often dogmatic and suffocating regulations of established articulation. ‘So the arts which can never be derived from anything that already exists. Rather it overthrows our familiar view of reality and opens up new’. The earth accepts diversity, precisely because it allows itself to continuously die and be reborn again. Just as the subversive nature of the earth, allows it continually renew itself, so must we subvert the structure of minds.
Through this project I hoped to facilitate a participatory cultural process, which would make room for the individual’s well being in close relation to the same of the community. This would challenge the practices of existing production of cultures, which is divorced of communitarian dimension, making it a commodity to be bought and sold.
During the workshops participants created temporary art forms, installations, performances or earth works, in and around found forms or spaces like trees, open wells, open grounds, garbage piles, or any other.