Event Horizon , the 7th edition of the Mediations Biennale looks to deepen the dialogue between Central Europe and Asia, particularly relating to the areas of art – science – technology . Curated by Dr. Tomasz Wendland the biennale focuses on artists who are working with new means of expression, operating interdisciplinarily between the analog and digital world. For the seventh edition, Mediations Biennale will expand across seven Polish cities including Jelenia Góra, Katowice, Łódź, Mosina, Poznań, Szczecin and Warsaw. Michelle Poonawalla’s new digital film Circle of Life will be shown as part of the exhibition Sky’s The Limit. Curated by Alnoor Mitha, Sky’s The Limit is both an integral part of the biennale and a bespoke curatorial project which responds to the biennale’s theme Event Horizon. The exhibition specifically addresses ideas around conflict, compassion, identity and memory, showing work by 7 South Asian and British artists including Payal Kapadia , Risham Hussein Syed , Aroosa Rana , Rabia Ajaz , Tasawar Bashir , Qasim Riza Shaheen and Michelle Poonawalla .
Poonawalla’s work Circle of Life is a 3 minute 36 second digital video produced in 2020. The work takes the viewer on a journey through their subconscious mind, encouraging them to identify their memories and address how the elements in the film and real life affect and challenge these and the fragility and metamorphoses of life, the film follows on from Poonawalla’s recent body of
work as a filmmaker to address ongoing global issues through an immersive multisensory experience.
Portrayed as a journey, the butterflies take us on a flight into our subconscious mind. The film starts with calm images of tree bark, oceans and plant leaves – depicting our early growth and development – before becoming more frenzied to reference more challenging situations and circumstances. The imagery changes to blood red flowers, the oceans turn to desert sands, and we
see a tangle of knotted tree roots reflecting more painful experiences, routes and options as our lives become more complex. Finally the work ends in a calmer and stiller period of life as the
ocean turns to ice.
The 7th Mediations Biennale runs from the 1st October to the 30 December and the full program can be found at www.mediations.pl .
About the Artist
Growing up between the UK and India, art has always been an integral part of Michelle Y. Poonawalla’s life. With a graduate degree in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Arts from the American College, London, Poonawalla’s practice formalised when she had her first show in 2016 at the Gateway School, Mumbai and has since continued to exhibit her work in solo and group shows in India and internationally. Poonawalla’s practice marries a more formal paint on canvas style with experimental digital technology, particularly digital video mapping and motion sensor technology, to create interactive works that push boundaries of conventional painting.
The artist’s key exhibitions include Khushi – India On Canvas in conjunction with Sotheby’s, New Delhi, 2017; India Art Story , Kolkata, 2017; Elephant Parade Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai and London,
2017 and 2018; What If You Fly , a solo exhibition at Vis A Vis Gallery, New Delhi and Spazio Gallery, Pune, 2018; Moving into the Future – Harvest 2018 , a group exhibition at Stainless Gallery,
New Delhi, 2018; a project at the Parma Art Fair, Italy with Gallery Marco Antonio Patrizio, 2018; Born Free at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2018; and Introspection a digital installation shown as collateral project at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018; as a guest exhibition at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, March 2019; and at START Art Fair, London’s Saatchi Gallery, 2019.
Website: www.michellepoonawalla.com | www.mediations.pl
Instagram: @michelle_poonawalla | @mediations_biennale_polska