THE UNITY PAVILION
ART FOR LAND 2022-2023
Auroville’s mission is to be a dynamic base for a growing and evolving human unity. Yet today, Auroville’s land, its physical base, is still incomplete. A very vital need is to complete and consolidate the City of Dawn’s designated Master Plan land.
It is for this reason that both the “Acres for Auroville” land campaign and its partner, the “Art for Land” action, were created. AFL, with beauty and inspiration, seeks to bring material support to A4A’s action for the urgent need of funding the purchase of the still-missing land. Now in its seventh year, AFL has already provided substantial resources for land purchase, thanks to the generosity of its contributing artists, and its supporters and donors. AFL is a unity action, and so it is not surprising that AFL’s “home” is the Unity Pavilion!
On August 15th, we held the yearly general Art for Land Exhibition at the Unity Pavilion to celebrate Sri Aurobindo’s 150th Birthday. It was our most beautiful AFL action so far. Held with the participation of a great number of Auroville, Ashram and friend artists, it was curated with the support of Silky, who had done so for previous AFL exhibitions.
Silky always finds the path of beauty and harmony in the relations and positioning of the many very different styles and expressions of the artists. Her curating shows us that with perseverance and plasticity, one can always find the way of balance and harmony!
The first parts of the curating are easy, the large lines are found, but in the end, you are faced with two or three walls that just don’t work. Different art works from many different artists have to harmonize, so that each individual work holds its space and is brought forward by the whole. This is where one steps back, looking at the whole, maybe being ready to dismantle a wall that already looks good in order to recompose for a larger harmony. When that last unexpected outcome is there – where all the walls are right – it is a wonderful high, for then the struggle to achieve, the flexibility and plasticity, the will needed for those extra steps has won over accepting something that is just passable. Well, this is part of yoga, as is everything else in life, and it is joyous!
Then in January and February, Unity Pavilion held a very special and intense program around human unity with:
– the G20 Scientists’ visit to Auroville,
– which was followed by the Spiritual Summit initiated by Auroville’s International Advisory Board Chairperson Dena Merriam,
– and then the week-long annual Auroville Festival during the Birthday Week of 21-28 February.
So with all this special activity, we decided to wait till this coming August to hold the next general participatory AFL exhibition. Instead we decided, in the meantime, to host an Art for Land solo exhibition with the works of Auroville artist Pierre Legrand –something we had wanted to do for a long time!
Pierre was the person who in the International Zone meetings at the end of the 1990s first connected the placing of the Peace Table with the plans for the Unity Pavilion, and his “Light Matter” installation in Bharat Nivas around that time was a great inspiration. A number of Pierre’s artworks are used as a permanent part of our Unity Pavilion environment and this was an opportunity to create a full atmosphere of inwardness in collectivity, of action in a downpouring of consciousness. Both an engineer and an artist, Pierre’s works are based on a special code he created which he says was inspired by his 1968 meeting with The Mother.
Art for Land has been gifted with several new collections of artworks and we are grateful for such supportive giving! It helps make AFL a dynamic platform for land fundraising as well as a showcase for the creativity of Auroville’s artists and friend-artists. It is a grace to see how Art for Land has become such a space of Trust, Goodwill and Generosity!
At AFL we continue to grow in this wonderful combination of generosity and challenge: how to extend our capacity and knowledge to facilitate the sales, how to increase our communication and information skills, and in general how to upgrade and improve in all areas … plus how to care for the art in the intense climate of South India.
Other positive news:
– The Art for Land website https://artforland.in/ has been improved and updated with on-line viewing of the collections and sales throughout the year.
– The new Art for Land Boutique is situated upstairs at the Unity Pavilion and is now open for visitors during weekdays all year-round as well. This little boutique sell artworks, prints and books, all of which have been gifted for land fundraising via Art for Land. The proceeds are then transferred for land purchase to the Acres for Auroville campaign.
– For the G20 event on 28 January, the Unity Pavilion environment went through a full makeover with landscaping, laying of paths and plantations.
This transformed the garden and has further expanded the usefulness of all our facilities. The pathways invite people to explore the garden, to sit under the trees and simply be in nature.
Under the shading Neem and Cashew trees we have placed banners with some of the texts so crucial to Auroville: Auroville’s Charter, Sri Aurobindo’s “Five Dreams” given for India’s Independence, “A Dream” by the Mother, “To be a True Aurovilian” and “The Twelve Qualities”. During the daytime visitors come, look at the exhibitions and sit quietly in the Hall of Peace and walk and sit in the garden.
– Every day there is an open Peace Meditation between 6 and 7 PM in the Hall of Peace. Very quietly people enter and sit down in silence together, inviting Peace and Harmony and it is lovely to see it attended every day.
We plan to continue with our collective exhibition in August, as well as solo or small-group exhibitions throughout the year.
We invite you all to participate, visit the Exhibitions and the Art for Land Boutique at Unity Pavilion or go to the Art for Land Website and choose art works for yourself or as a precious gift for Birthdays, Christmas and other celebrations.
We will keep you all informed of the upcoming AFL exhibitions and events.
Through sales and donations to “Art for Land”, you become a precious support for “Acres for Auroville” and our combined effort to secure the still-missing lands of Auroville’s Master Plan area for the realization of the City the Earth Needs.
With gratitude to Aryadeep, Jothi and Mandakini of the Acres for Auroville and Lands for Auroville Unified team, to the Auroville International centers which dynamically co-sponsor and support the A4A campaign, and to the Land Board team for their commitment and work for Auroville.
Our sincere thanks go to the Art for Land/Unity Pavilion team – Arun, Bharathi, Doris, Jagan, Kasthuri, Sangha, and Sudha – for their intense work, commitment, and collaboration for fundraising for the land, and for all their actions promoting unity.
Our appreciation goes to the donors who so loyally contribute for securing Auroville’s Land.
And we honor and thank all the artists, whose generosity and support are a true sign of solidarity and human unity!
With Love and Appreciation,