During Wild Learning: Mindful Art/Flow State, visual artist and certified yoga instructor Kajal Nisha Patel led participants through a day of creativity and yoga in the heart of Fineshade Wood.
The workshop began with a yoga activity, flowing between asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing) exercises. Kajal guided individuals through the exercises, mindful of each person’s abilities.
Kajal then shared her own artwork, explaining how yogic processes inform her artistic practice. Drawing heavily on both her family history and cultural history, as well as visual representations of binaries such as masculine and feminine, Kajal creates textile collages on both paper and fabric that speak to her life.
Inspired by her work and the materials offered, participants created their own textile works, taking the opportunity to discuss issues of community and family which had arisen during the day.
Kajal Nisha Patel (b.1979), is a visual artist whose work spans across disciplines, social groups and contexts. Having previously specialised in lens-based media, she now works as a multidisciplinary artist, primarily using Indian textiles and other found objects. Her work shifts between representation and abstraction. Spanning communities between the UK and India, much of Kajal’s practice focuses on the intersectional lives of South Asian women, their processes of emancipation/transformation while considering the politics of power. In 2008, she founded Lightseekers, a collaborative social practice which uses art and social practice to initiate dialogues between different communities and space is created for sub-alternate narratives. After qualifying as a yoga teacher in 2017, Kajal encourages the use of yogic processes within social and participatory contexts.
Mindful Creativity is a continuation of the Outdoor Institute of Art, a two-year programme conceived by Yasmin Canvin and run by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. The Outdoor Institute is an alternative art school with discussions, skills and knowledge sharing events between artists, experts in relevant fields, the arts sector and members of the public.