Over a dozen artists were selected to receive little to significant (USD 500) in the past 12 months or so. Some of them are featured here. Some other artists who stayed at AZIMVTH Ashram but did not receive any grants from AZIMVTH are not covered here.
365 Haridwar brings newer perspectives to art residencies. What it focuses upon and offers makes unique value additions. The approach is to identify opportunities presented due to specificity of –
- Time (Ancient Indian almanac, Common Gregorian calendar, United Nations observances schedule)
- Space (Cluster of 4 stages of life, Geography, Ancient Heritage)
- Cosciousness (All AZIMVTH angles – within self, other art forms, sectors beyond arts)
(in the increasing order of importance) in the context of 365 Haridwar. 365 Haridwar provides cues and leaves it to an individual participant to make her own interpretations and combinations of these three. To read more about these, please read the note ‘Artists at 365 Haridwar Have All AZIMVTH Experience’ – here.
Details about these artists, their art, projects they achieved at 365 Haridwar / AZIMVTH Ashram and the likely impact the projects will create are given below.
MFA (Glassworking Spring 2019), United States
“I will highly recommend the programme (365 Haridwar) to other artists! I 100% will apply again in my future and would love to attend in / after 2019.”
Emily is presently an MFA (Glassworking) student (expected graduation date, Spring 2019) at Virginia Commonwealth University- Richmond. She is Co-Chair of Digital Media Committee- Glass Art Society. She has received many awards (David Smith Award, Juried Student Exhibition, 2015, and Art Excellence Award, Verona Area High School-Class of 2012), grants and participated in several exhibitions.
Emily has a deep love for nature, yoga, and spirituality. Her work engages the mind, body and soul and unveils the spiritual component in many aspects of life.
Being a maker is an aspect of her spiritual practice. Being a practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she is interested in the movement of her body and mind in relation to her perception of the world. Primarily using glass, she examines transparency, reflection, light, and optics, to evaluate imperfections of our perception. The act of creating takes her to a place in her mind where she is thoroughly and completely at ease. Time seems to dissipate and she is no longer important. She longs for this mental state of emptiness; becoming completely present in the moment. Everything she experiences is connected through process, and the repetitive movements of making become ritual, defining her craft. Her practice is a deep quest of the self, where she interrogates what it means to be human. By having the ability of being conscious, humans have a sense of selves as beings. This sense allows to connect with intuition, realizing that there is something that goes further than physical experiences.
Impressions of Nature “We are One” Site Specific Installation 2015
Blown Glass, Silver Nitrate, Natural Environment
The beauty Emily has found in repetitive patterns throughout nature engage her curiosity, and reveal a deeper order in all living things. She questions the human experience to unravel the way that humans see the world. Whether humans realize this or not, the current meaning of time is manifested through perception of the celestial bodies. A week is constructed from seven rising and settings of the sun, a month is based on the lunar cycle, the year is one revolution around the sun. Humans have become disconnected to the natural cycles that dictate sensual experiences in the world. Time is nothing but a bully to experiences, a force that dictates what sense of reality really is. To view everything as interrelated, humans allow selves to remove the limits of perception, and just be. In realizing a connection to nature, one begins to realize a connection to oneself.
You Are Eternal Mandala 2016
Intrinsic to Emily’s practice is the circle. A symbol for cycles, movement, continuation, and the universe. Circles are present in the natural world and in the celestial bodies. They are present in her life being a glass artist- constantly rotating the material around its own axis. Circles define her style as a hoop dancer, where her body rotates on its own axis. Through all her creative endeavours, her work engages the viewer in self contemplation; perhaps creating a moment of connection where a one can reconnect with themselves and transcend the present moment. Her lifelong goal is to simply honour the beauty that is all around.
Images related to some of her art, made before coming to 365 Haridwar, are shown below.
Project A: “Orb Exploration”
Emily was trained in Om and mantra chanting by Tarun Kumar at AZIMVTH Ashram. She spent her new year’s eve at 365 Haridwar.
This image shows Emily at work at AZIMVTH Ashram.
Each orb is formed from molten glass held at a temperature of 2150. Using a large hollow steel rod, the glass is gathered from a furnace and air is blown through the rod. A bubble then forms in the clear glass and creates an air pocket which to be formed by tools and the addition of more air. Glassblowing commonly requires two people so a team was needed to create these orbs. After the glass is gathered and formed into a sphere, it is kept in a kiln for 16hrs at 960 degrees so the glass molecules can release stress and become stable. When the glass is at room temperature Emily uses chemicals (silver nitrate) to create a mirror finish on the interior of the glass. This finish creates a reflective surface within the material.
Photos taken during the 365 Haridwar residency are a part of a larger project in which Emily has titled “Orb Explorations.” Being a lover of nature and travel, these orbs are an item that she takes with on all her adventures. She uses them to create a relationship with nature which for her is a spiritual encounter. The orbs are viewed as persons and by placing them in the natural environment Emily seeks to find a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world- something that has been lost throughout western culture.
Modern American Orbs, Ancient Sphatik (Natural Quartz) and Full Moon: Man Made Mirror and Heavenly Mirror at AZIMVTH Ashram
Emily gifted these orbs and the photographs to AZIMVTH Ashram. Some of the photographs are shown below.
Project B: “Salute to the Sun”
This project was created at the 365 Haridwar Artist Residency in Haridwar, India. Emily became inspired by the unique craft of individual artisans, temples, and the holy water of the Ganges throughout the city of Haridwar. After visiting various temples, prayer ceremonies and partaking sessions of Om chanting and Sun Salutations, she was drawn to the imagery of the sun rising over the Ganges river. She was overwhelmed with inspiration and joy after learning that the sun determines the time of prayers on the Ganges, and is a soul figure in the context of morning salutations and mantras. She chose to use holy seeds of Lotus and Rudraksh to create this work because of their unique ability to hold information. She has learned from her time in India, that imagery, mysticism and philosophy of the east is rich in symbolism. This artwork is a representation of such symbolism.
The project was started with a priest coming over to AZIMVTH Ashram to conduct a fire-ceremony (Homa or Havan) to bless the artist and her art with an auspicious note. This added a performative layer to the piece.
The art-work has a central circle composed of 108 rudraksha seeds. The central Rudraksha is from a tree in Haridwar. 108 being a symbolic number in anatomy, astrology and prayer. besides the 2 kinds of holy seeds, she also used beads of a Tulsi (Basel) mala that was for long in use for meditation at AZIMVTH Ashram. Tulsi bead is a common material used in the Mala, (a tool for prayer in which one counts 108 seeds through touch) to depict the holy Ganges river. She got the wood beads hand dyed by local artisans. These represent rays of the Sun, and the expanding energy of the life each individual processes. The seeds and beads are strung together by gold polished wire made in Haridwar.
The final work was taken to the Ganges at the captive ritual bathing ghat at Arya Nagar, the cluster of which AZIMVTH Ashram is a part, to receive blessings of mother Ganges. Emily gifted this spiritual art to AZIMVTH Ashram where it is used with Surya Namaskar and yogic practices.
Over half a dozen local artisans with skills of carpentry, wood working, dyeing, meditating, goldsmithing and praying were collaborated with by Emily, with support from Tarun Kumar.
Impact & Next Levels
Emily believes that being in not only the natural environment, but also the spiritual and historical environment of Haridwar will allow her to be knowledgeable externally, and internally and she takes these back to America and use in her artistic practice. She plans to generate many drawings/paintings based on her experiences and hopes to utilize areas like temples, ashrams, the Ganges, and Himalayan Mountains to inform her imagery and spiritual practice as an artist.
Emily plans to bring the knowledge gained during this residency and share amongst her peers. After receiving MFA, she wants to become a full time teacher of Craft (Glass Art). Using glass as a material is very movement oriented and meditative. She would like to bring that to the forefront of the educational system and teach in a way that allows students to feel connected to the microcosm of their body, and the macrocosm of the universe. Emily is currently a Chair member to Glass Art Society ( an international non-profit organization) in which she plans to propose a “Yoga for Glassblowers” class at various craft schools in the United States.
Besides these two projects, Emily made copious drawings of phases for Moon – one drawing for each of the night she has been alive for. This will be a life-long project. She will make a book having pages corresponding to each night of 110 years. At AZIMVTH Ashram, she reached up till year 2014 – drawing one Moon for each night since her birth. This may be her own individual meditation book for entire life.
Emily at the studio at AZIMVTH Ashram
A proud AZIMVTH Fellow on the final day…
BA, PGCE, United Kingdom
“Delicious food at the residency was a high-point of my stay!”
Cora is a portrait artist from the UK. She teaches art to various nationalities. Her mother is a professional writer.
Some of her art-works (made before coming to 365 Haridwar) are shown below. (Welsh Landscape, Robin, Face Casts)
Cora visited India for the residency. In doing this residency, Cora’s focus was to create portraits of the pilgrims, through photography and painting. She captured the expressions and emotions from pilgrimages that occur in Haridwar frequently. Her second priority was to complete some sketchbook work, e.g. drawings and sketches of natural forms and still life found in Haridwar.
During her stay, she was given a basic introduction to Yoga.
An example of an art-work she made at AZIMVTH Ashram is shown below. This original art-work was gifted by her to AZIMVTH Ashram. It is a scene at the Brahma-Kund, on Har-ki-paidi on the banks of Ganges. An old woman is taking a ritual dip. She picks up the water in her palms from the holy Ganges and a Hindu priest is conducting a prayer for her.
“Offerings at (365) Ganges Haridwar”
Impact & Next Levels
Cora hopes to teach her students about the residency and the work she has created. She will also share this with her network of other Art teachers. She also hopes to find some gallery spaces to exhibit her residency work.
William Sullivan Brown
Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California.
“Within hours of arriving in India, I accompanied Tarun Kumar for a group audience / talk with HH Dalai Lama!”
Sully works as an illustrator and animation production designer for television at Los Angeles, California. He has also acted in feature films – e.g. ‘We Go Way Back’ directed by Lynn Shelton, and ‘Brand Upon the Brain!’ directed by Guy Madden, that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Sully is an Eagle Scout and was President of his High School during senior year. He comes from a family that is known for path-breaking initiatives. His mother is a senior architect with a leading firm in the US that has led world renowned projects. His father and grandfather are Harvard graduates. His aunt scaled Mt. Everest. She is mentioned in the book – ‘Into Thin Air’ and the movie by the same name.
Some of his art-works (made before coming to 365 Haridwar) are shown below.
(Baby Beds, Traveler, Flower Pot)
After few weeks of stay at AZIMVTH Ashram, Sully extended his stay for over a month. During his stay at AZIMVTH Ashram, Sully was initiated by Tarun Kumar in Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation Yoga), breathing exercises for relaxation and mind focussing, Om Choir, and Aum Chanting. Inspired with this, he has created caricatures of the 12 postures of the Sun Salutation Yoga. He gifted the originals to AZIMVTH Ashram. He created a dozen-plus other art-works as well.
Following are a couple of art-works made by him at AZIMVTH Ashram.
(Sun Salutation – Pranam Asana, Temple Boy at (365) Haridwar)
Besides these, he immersed himself into the rich spiritual culture of Haridwar as a native resident. During the annual fortnight of remembrance for the near-and-dear ones who are no more, he participated with a ritual / ceremony and prayed for his grandfather, a Presidential awardee of Medal of Honor, who trained with Louis Armstrong and sister after whom two dormitories are named on a university campus in the US.
Impact & Next Levels
To further develop the artistic aspects of this form of Vinyasa Yoga, AZIMVTH Ashram is utilising these dozen art works for a book on Sun Salutation to be produced soon. Having attended ‘365 Haridwar’ international artist residency programme, Sully looks forward to leading more film-projects, becoming a better artist, a better person, and a global citizen.
“Unforgettable experience to spend my birth day evening at the Ganga Aarati on the full moon!”
Anna 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. )
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.
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.
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.
BFA, PG Diploma, New Zealand
“I liked the consistency – time and space for learning.”
Paris is a full-time visual artist and casual lecturer at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, University in Auckland, New Zealand. Her father is a professional photographer.
She has received the following awards – AMP Dare to Dream Scholarship, WhitecliffeCollege of arts and Design Scholarship, New Market Young Designer Award. She has exhibited at dozens of galleries in Germany and New Zealand.
The core focus of her practice is ‘Painting the Sacred’ in its ideology, process and outcome. Her process is devotional to the divinity of mother nature whom she depicts through painting. However her work can also result in writing, drawing, photography, installation, performance and educational experiences. It is her primary intention to elevate the natural world to divine status through art.
Relationships with Nature by Paris Kirby
Book launched in 2016. The book is a collection of curated images and essays exploring human relationship with the natural world.
Life Drawing Classes at Auckland Art Gallery 2017
Curated and hosted by Paris Kirby
In New Zealand, the land, waters and sky hold great spiritual significance through Maori culture, but unfortunately the stories have been largely lost due to colonisation. Luckily some ancient knowledge still exists and this has become of great influence to her practice. In the western world it is becoming increasingly hard to find meaning, community and belief as people dive deeper into the future of technology, consumerism and the destruction of environment. Because of this she feels motivated to give the land a voice, connect individuals through shared experience, and provide pathways to ways of thinking that enable individuals to connect with the land and the higher consciousness of nature and themselves.
This image show her art and work before coming to 365 Haridwar.
I find sanctuary in the Arms of Mother Kauri, and Paint in Reciprocity, 2017
Acrylic and gold leaf on board
1050mm x 1400 mm
As part of her solo exhibition Sanctuary at Sanderson Contemporary Art, New Zealand.
At AZIMVTH Ashram, Paris Kirby was introduced to and trained for breathing exercises and mantra chanting. She also immersed in the local context and participated in a Hindu wedding at Haridwar.
Paris bought a new camera just before coming to AZIMVTH Ashram. She wanted to soak in and record the new experiences that may act as muse for her future work.
Paris gifted a few precious things to AZIMVTH Ashram. Two ancient Pounamu jade pieces polished and finished by her were gifted. She had mined these on one of her frequent mountain hikes in New Zealand. She also presented a coffee-table book The Maori that was part of her family library.
This image shows her painting nestled between holy Tulsi plants. This painting titled ‘Kauri 2017’ was also gifted by her to AZIMVTH Ashram. It is one-of-its-kind print of one of her paintings and is hand gold finished by her.
Following images show Paris making a water colour at Har-ki-Paidi on Ganges, Haridwar while the evening ritual Aarati (prayer) is in progress.
On the 365 Haridwar residency Paris researched the artwork that is present within places of worship to study the techniques, symbolism and processes of creation. She wanted to understand the power these artefacts have to communicate the essence of the divine, how they aid in storytelling, how the composition and symbolism illustrates the belief system, and the effect it has on the individual and wider community, across history and into the future.
Paris delved into an art form that was entirely new to her. She created 18 unique malas, rosary beads, made up of astrological gem stones. She designed a new label ‘Om Jai’ for this.
Impact & Next Levels
Paris gained new invaluable insights. This new influence will be crucial in the ongoing development of her practice, and will have a significant impact on how she draws connections between land, spirituality, art, and humanity.
Paris will be developing her new label ‘Om Jai’ of rosary beads, depending upon the response she gets in New Zealand.
MFA Illustration student (scheduled to complete September 2018), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Napatt is the first artist of non European descent who was selected and completed a residency at AZIMVTH Ashram. She came to the residency to prepare for her final project of MFA. A month after completing the residency she had her last exhibition at Manchester to complete the requirements for completing MFA.
Art made before coming to AZIMVTH
(Image above) The illustration of project map 2017-2018. (2 Images below) The Collection of Lost (Beasts) No.1 Monoprint and digital edited 2017. The collection of Lost (Beasts) No.2 Monoprint and digital edited 2018.
Projects at AZIMVTH
Project A: Researching local colours
Napatt researched upon using the following local colouring agents used in Haridwar – edible lime, kattha used for betel leaf, geru soft rock (terracotta colour), lavendar essential oil, etc. She finally settled upon 2 colours – red and yellow – used in mixing with cement used for making floors inside rooms. These are still in use in Haridwar and were commonly used across India before ceramic tiles became popular. All of the flooring at AZIMVTH uses these colours which last for decades. Also, she chose indigo blue that is mixed with lime to paint / coat walls.
The next step was to increase the binding strength of these colours to make them suitable for use on paper.
BFA, Syracuse University, 1969, USA
After retirement, Barbara teaches mosaic arts and provides guided tours at art museums like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Bedford Fine Art Gallery, and earlier The Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Her career has circled around creativity in many ways – originally as a graphic artist and later as a consultant to this industry. She has that found she is most rewarded when she is helping others succeed in their own goals, especially when they are creative. Barbara is the President, The BlueShift Communications, Inc., USA.
Some art-works created before coming to AZIMVTH
Image / file 1 title: Untitled
Description: Glass, collage, glitter, grout.
This was designed to sit above a light which creates an effervescent feeling. It was designed for her son, and intended to emulate his creativity, intelligence and his “self”.
Image / file 2 title: Untitled
Description: A mixed media piece including a T-shirt, collage and paint. It was intended to personalize humans’ responsibility to protecting the earth (it’s elements) and avoid it’s threatened destruction (fire).
Image / file 3 title: Ketuba
Description: A mixed media piece including glass, mirror, stones, crystals, paper, key. This was created as a modern interpretation of ancient Jewish marriage certificates. This piece recognizes each individual as equals and comments on their commitment to each other.
Recently, on the plane heading home after the funeral of her mother, Barbara watched a documentary about Picasso. About his painting of Guernica. For some reason, it reminded her of an old inspiration to address the issues of aging. She thought of doing a research based art residency that could be a tribute to her mom. The concept of death became the residency focus for Barbara.
What are the beauties and challenges of aging?
Perceptions – becoming invisible, seemingly useless, a burden, a money pit, loss of mobility, pain, loss of will to do, being feared by the young, difficult communication, hearing, seeing, writing.
On the positive side – legacy established, wisdom (until dementia sets in), being loved, joy of being with those you love, knowing you are cared for memories, providing purpose to caregivers.
How do Indians deal with death and dying? What are the colors of death? How are the aged cared for? What are there options in their old age. How to describe it? No judgment. Just facts to ponder. How is death acknowledged throughout the world? (Goal might be to make it less frightening. Almost something to look forward to.) Could it be renewed freedom. Becoming unburdened.
Projects at AZIMVTH
Barbara had an eventful residency. Private audiences were arranged for her with senior functionaries of 2 of the largest spiritual / Yoga institutions of the world. She participated in a lot of relevant discussions at AZIMVTH. And listened to audio-books. She was trained in Mantra chanting and breathing Yoga.
Project A: One Torn Shroud and Five Elements
Barbara used a hand-made cotton fabric and made an art work on it. It shows 5 nodes that can loosely be correlated to the 5 elements of nature – fire, air, ether, earth, and water.
Project B: The Eglin Marbles
Barbara considers eggs to be the beginning and death to be an end. As it is illegal to trade in / consume non-vegetarian food (that includes eggs) in Haridwar, she obtained 3 marbles – pieces of stone that become rounded by the continuous embrace of mother river Ganges.
Project C: Collaborative Mantra Chanting
At AZIMVTH Ashram, Barbara trained in chanting the mantra of Aum. The mantra helps in inducing peace and rejuvenating creativity. Following is a recording of 108 chants.
Bonus Project: Acting in a Bollywood movie!
During the extended stay in India, Barbara also visited other cities besides Haridwar. While in Udaipur, she stayed at the famed hotel ‘Taj Lake Palace’ where some scenes of the James Bond movie Octopussy were shot. It was a coincidence that a Bollywood Hindi movie ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Wo Chamakte Sitare’ was being shot. She got an opportunity to play a small extra role. A lead actress of this movie was also the lead actress of another movie ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ that was shot almost entirely in Haridwar. Of course, this wasn’t any planned project!
Barbara donated to AZIMVTH Ashram the following – a copy of The Pentateuch Haftorahs that was presented to her husband in 1962 on his Bar Mitzvah, 2 menorahs, 1 Treidel, 2 of the 5 art works of the project ‘One Torn Shroud and Five Elements’, and 2 art-works of the project ‘The Eglin Marbles’.
Impact and Next Levels
Since she has explored many divergent yet related paths in her work, during the time (at residency) Barbara liked to further develop her mixed media explorations, incorporating elements from her environment into the works and found the relationships that tie humanity together.
She expanded subject matter, although with an abstract sensibility to reflect her experiences and learning while at 365 Haridwar. She expects that the spiritual aspects of this experience, the community and the environment will open many doors she has yet to discover.
As a life-long learner and concerned citizen of the earth she hopes to gain increased awareness of the needs of her fellow man and find a way to help make the world a better place.
Barbara expects she will be able to offer more value as she goes forth in teaching about art and how it effects humanity.
She feels that every experience offers growth. The 365 Haridwar experience will open new opportunities for other residencies, offering that much more opportunity to use her art to spread the message of peace and understanding.
She has, for many years, been a docent volunteer at a few museums in her community. This has provided a broad perspective for her. Not only about historic and contemporary artists, but also about the impact of the arts on events and history and vice versa. In addition, she has had the opportunity to educate adults and children about the above and seen them light up with curiousity, creativity and excitement. Barbara intends to continue this effort after 365 Haridwar with an enlarged perspective that she can foster.
“Thank you for your guidance and knowledge, loved the translations, visits, everything. I feel like I got an authentic experience here in India. I learned much more than I would have in a hotel.”
“Mostly – with your education and the environment I felt inspired and more productive than ever before. Also – I feel it will continue.”
“I also am more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time.”