99% Practice, 1% Theory

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by Michelle Cherian on Saturday, March 2, 2013

Visual Arts + Design

Session type
Lightning Talk

Technical level


Tell my story of how contemplative practice such as yoga and meditation and healing modalities have influenced my artistic practice.


I will speak about my own experience in how contemplative practices have influenced my artistic practice. Drawing on scientific research, metaphysical studies and ideas of gesture and mark making I will discuss of how my artistic practice has developed in the context of these diverse disciplines.

Speaker bio

In my studio practice I’ve been working with meditation practitioners, yoga practitioners and metaphysicians to further my ongoing inquiry into the nature of what it means to be present, both mentally and physically. Through this research and my painting work I’m asking questions about contemporary culture and the mind. How can practices such as meditation alter how we interact with ourselves? Can cultivating a trust in our intuition enable us to consciously create our reality? I believe gaining an awareness of how our mind works allows us to take control of our lives and fills us with a deep empathy for the world in which we live.

My recent paintings and drawings are an outward form of what is happening internally during a meditation, a visual representation of insights. I’ve been doing experiments in my studio using meditation before and during painting. What I experience during meditation can be the starting point for formal aspects of a work. Historically artists have used meditation to directly illustrate their state of mind. Monks creating sand mandalas as well as contemporary artists using Zen techniques work outside of the thinking mind to create expressions of their current consciousness. I’m expanding on this concept by integrating narrative techniques and using meditation as the foundation for formal structure.

I now spend most of my time in India with frequent trips to the US. I followed a dream and moved here in late 2008 to be an Artist In Residence at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. Since 2011 I have been working independently. I studied liberal arts at Sarah Lawrence College and Interactive Art & Design at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.