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Art workshop at Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary

June 27th - July 3rd 2015

Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary (GBS) will host a five day workshop on
experiencing the monsoon and exploring our connection with it through art.
Rain is an essential part of nature. Plants and animals, forests and rivers, and
human beings are all directly affected by the duration and intensity of rain. How do
our cultures and psyches reflect this?
In India we experience seasons through the monsoon. It could be said that we are a
culture based on the monsoon. It affects how we feel about ourselves and our
surroundings, as it affects our daily lives. For all people here, both good and bad
monsoons have great implications and significance, due to the profound influence
on nature, agriculture and our various human activities.
There is increasing awareness of the fact that rain patterns are changing. Recently,
excess rain at the wrong time has been problematic and confusing. In a growing
global atmosphere of worries and speculation as to what is going to be our
collective (human and non human) destiny with respect to climate change, we now
have to rethink and find meaningful connections to our local environment and
Rain, for each of us, evokes different memories and ways of thinking. But how
does this play out in our personal lives as well as the social and environmental
context within which we live?

The workshop
During this five day workshop we will explore how rain plays a vital role in
experiencing landscapes and also how this affects our behaviour, as well as our
relationships with each other.
We will experiment with different materials, artistic processes and storytelling to
connect and understand better how our interactions at GBS during the monsoon
opens up new avenues into our imagination. We hope through this process to
unfold a dialogue amongst ourselves to create artistic forms and to find new and
insightful ways of being reflective, imaginative and expressive.
We will investigate how our unique personal experiences with our senses and our
bodies, affects our perception of the surrounding landscape. Through engaging
with each other and the landscape we hope to find a multiplicity of meaningful
actions in celebration that express our inner and outer journeys of joy and love and
perhaps even fear, of being a living sentinel body on this planet.

Topics for exploration:
Senses perception
Ways of experiencing the landscape
Rain water and fluidity
Imagination ecology: how plants and animals, the land and the rain speak to us.

Workshop structure: Two outdoor sessions a day, followed by two artistic
sessions. Evenings are for dialogue, personal sharings, readings and videos.
Workshop hosts: Roshan Sahi and Suprabha Seshan
Visiting artists: Ayisha Abraham, Golak Khandual and Jyoti Sahi.
Dates: June 27th to July 3rd 2015

Roshan and Suprabha will anchor the workshop over the week, starting on
Saturday the 27th. Participants can come anytime during this period. We
recommend a minimum of three days.
We can host 10 persons at any point in time, so its important to decide your dates
Please bring umbrellas, rain gear, a sleeping bag and your own art materials of
choice. Bring your own tactic for the leeches.
Workshop fee: Rs. 1500 per day.
Directions: Bangalore-Mysore-Mananthavadi-Periya-GBS The village of Periya is
on the Thalassery-Mananthavadi road.
Contact numbers: Suprabha: 09448059414 Roshan 09980826080
Preparatory work: Make notes and observations of the rain where you are, and
what it inspires in you. Find readings or videos that are relevant to the topic.
Prepare your own journey towards the forest, and into the rain in this landscape.
What do you wish to explore? Are you ready for the wild winds and heavy
downpours of Wayanad?

A note on Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary.
GBS is a forest garden in Wayanad, a district in the Western Ghats of Kerala
dedicated to plant conservation, habitat restoration and nature education. It is home
to over 2000 native species of plants, and is on the edge of a reserve forest.
GBS receives 600 cm of rain every year, and in the months of June to August there
can be 20 cm of rain per day. The land is in various stages of forest recovery, and
the species conservation areas are organised in wild and semi-wild habitats.
GBS residents enjoy the rain. Plant life is exuberant. It is dark, windy and wild
during this time. Many species of Impatiens flowers emerge, as well as dozens of
ground orchids, and different kinds of mosses and liverworts. Ferns add to the
lushness. Leeches of course abound. Birds and insects are subdued but amphibians
and cicadas are loudly present.

Through this workshop GBS welcomes a celebration of a wild fecundity that is

interdependent with the rain. We will learn about plants and animals, about
monsoon ecology, and explore what it feels like to be out at different times of the
day, no matter the weather. We will observe the work of ecosystem gardeners
whose entire mission and practice is shaped by the rain.
A number of experienced artists who are also educators will participate in the
workshop. We intend to explore the possibility of collaborating towards an art
course focused on landscape and ecology, to be offered at GBS. Potential
collaborators could be Srishti, Azim Premji University, the Krishnamurti
Foundation Schools and other educational centres concerned with creating cultures
based on nature.
Please check out the links below for more information on GBS (In case this does not work, click on the link below!)
And here is a link to Roshan Sahis thoughts and work