SAIIER 2019:Divine Flowers exhibition

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SAIIER 2018-19
"Divine Flowers" exhibition


The vision of this ongoing project “Divine Flowers” is to create a learning environment for the children, Aurovilians and visitors to connect with the flowers in a deeper way. This is  an innovative educational project whereby through contact with the real flowers and the photos/paintings, common names and messages by the Mother, many parts of our being  get stimulated and become conscious of them on a subtle plane. The presence of flowers in the Physical; colors, shape, fragrance, beauty in the Vital; the messages and significances in the Mental; and the beautiful atmosphere in the Psychic being is one of the aims. In other words, education in an integral way. It is an effort to share the Mother’s vision and to co-create a psychic atmosphere involving the community and children.  



Description of project:

To prepare for the exhibition, a nursery of 200 pots was created with the support of Maret Garden and Matru Udyanam (Lake Garden) of the Ashram in the beginning of January, and was watered and taken care of by the team members. These plants grew and produced flowers and were then ready for the exhibition.

The exhibition opened on the Mother’s birthday, Thursday, February 21st 2019. The opening featured meditation with the Mother’s music, led by Shraddhavan at 10:30 in the Savitri Bhavan Amphitheatre. The exhibition continued for 8 days culminating on February 28th.  About 60 different fresh flowers, with their common names and  the significance given by the Mother were arranged artistically, in a variety of vases in the Square Hall of Savitri Bhavan. Flowers for the exhibition were collected every day in and around Auroville, and the vases and pots were watered and re-arranged regularly. Paintings of the flowers and live orchids in test tubes mounted on glass frames were aesthetically displayed.


Divine Flowers 2019 1.JPG


The Square Hall lobby was decorated with the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s messages on flowers over five big panels, and tables displayed ceramic work on flowers. Four different symbols – the Mother's symbol, Sri Aurobindo's symbol, the Auroville symbol and Aum – were created with flowers on different days. One of the corners was beautified by glass frames with orchids. Ten bamboo frames were utilized to display some more orchids in the Main lobby.


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The passageway from the Entrance to the main door of Savitri Bhavan, including the area around the statue of Sri Aurobindo was adorned with 150 pots of different kinds of live flowering plants.

The Colonnade (around the outside of the Square Hall) was beautified with photographs of Auroville Flowers which were named by the Mother, interspaced with orchids. The Savitri Bhavan Amphitheatre was surrounded by about 100 more pots.  A member of New Earth team used the space around the Service Tree to make and maintain a flower mandala.

This year we also started Children's Activities. About 90 students of the age group 5-10 years from Outreach schools and Auroville schools participated in the event. Eight different kinds of activities were organized for two days, in the open green spaces of Savitri Bhavan: clay work, jigsaw puzzles & memory games, free painting with spray-paint, origami, drawing and colouring, flower mandala, flower card making, and matching and labeling of  flowers. Snacks and drinks were provided. Origami flower necklaces and flower seeds were the take-aways for them.

On the closing day we had a meditation at 9:30 inside the Square Hall. The occasion was graced by the presence of some our inspirators from the Ashram including Richard, Kailas and Narad.

Free gifts of flower-seeds, the Mother’s blessings and few CDs of last year’s exhibition were distributed as souvenirs. Snacks and drinks were provided on the first and last day of the exhibition. Around 10 volunteers and 10 members of the core team worked, some even from early morning till late at night. But all of them were highly motivated and delighted to work and contribute. 

Outcomes:

More than 100 visitors, tourists and residents of Auroville attended the exhibition every day. From the verbal and written comments of the visitors, it is obvious that the atmosphere touched their hearts and they could feel the peace and  harmony in Nature. They were able to connect with the inner beauty of the flowers and their arrangements. As a team, this exhibition helped us to gain the detailed knowledge of and build a deeper relationship, with the flowers.

Children were happy and joyfully engaged in all the activities. The entire atmosphere led them to live in the world of the flowers and experience a deeper aspect of nature. The whole program helped the children to express their creativity and inner beauty.

Reflections:

The core team and the volunteers learned to work as a team, how to organize an exhibition with proper planning and execution through mutual discussion and understanding. We came in touch with of the reality of these wonders of nature (flowers) and of life.


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