Constellations of the Greens

Anna Michelis
BFA, Canada

“Unforgettable experience to spend my birth day evening at the Ganga Aarati on the full moon!”

About
14322225_10154477431174029_7461506144099996670_nAnna works for the National Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada. She primarily works with various intaglio techniques (photo intaglio and etching), and also sometimes combines silkscreen printing techniques. Her style and aesthetic focus is on flowers and organic textures. Her work explores symbolism in order to expand an aesthetic that attempts to mimic nature itself. Simultaneously, her work explores concepts of the cosmos, mysticism, and a fascination in the wondrous cycles of life.

Anna’s twin brother is also an artist having his own studio.

Some of her art-works (made before coming to 365 Haridwar) are shown below.

(Hanakotoba, 2015. Silkscreen print, 22 x 30 in., Cycles Series, 2015. Layered intaglio prints, 11 x 15 in. )

Hanakotoba, 2015. Silkscreen print, 22 x 30 in Cycles Series, 2015. Layered intaglio prints, 11 x 15 in.

Project

Given the context of the AZIMVTH Ashram, the natural surroundings and local flora were her endless source of inspiration to create new prints. During her 4 week stay, Anna was introduced by Tarun Kumar to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian herbal medicine system, in general and the geometrical formation of 27 plants corresponding to the 27 divisions of a night sky as per Hindu astrology, in particular. While in residence, she developed 27 Sun exposure prints of the relevant leaves and drew outlines / frames on 27 large hand-made papers.

Project A: 27 Specimens

Anna made field visits and collected specimens of 27 different leaves. These were kept for drying, pressed within the pages of thick well thumbed Sanskrit books of scriptures at half-open studio at AZIMVTH. In a few weeks they were completely dried. Each of these was separately laminated between thin films.

Project B: Solar Exposes

Before laminating, each of the 27 leaves were kept on photo-sensitive papers and exposed in bright yet non-harsh winter Sun at the roof-top studio at AZIMVTH. Beautiful patterns were created by the Sun exposure.

Project C: Water-colours

Anna made 27 outlines and preliminary water-colours for each of the 27 leaves on hand made papers.

Project D: Wishing Tree

Kalpa Taru is a concept in eastern philosophy in India. Broadly, it refers to the idea that we sit under a Wishing Tree. What ever we think in our minds becomes reality in life. Positive thoughts do yield. Anna made a water colour with 27 leaves.

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At AZIMVTH Ashram, she was also trained in Sun Salutation Yoga, breathing exercises, mantra and Om chanting.

Anna also experienced the local-culture in depth. A day after her arrival in India, she was able to attend a traditional Indian wedding of the couple both of whom work at Google in India.

The following water-colour was made by her at and gifted to AZIMVTH Ashram.

Nakshatra Kalpa Taru

Impact & Next Levels
There is a huge duality when it comes to technology and social media but as an artist, Anna believes it can be used as a huge advantage to get one’s work out there. She aims to document and share her art with family, friends and extended social media networks in hopes that it inspires others to pursue their passions. Her experience and growth as an artist through her residency at 365 Haridwar will be at the top of her artist resume.

Back in Canada, she will be completing the 27 water-colours she started at AZIMVTH Ashram.

Although she already practiced Yoga three times a week before coming to AZIMVTH Ashram, here she trained 7 days a week and learnt newer forms. She has deepened her spirituality and grew as an individual and artist. Learning and evolving are essential to the human spirit.