Figure by Manisha Anjali
GetInTouch Melbourne Art Resident
Manisha Anjali is a writer and artist living in Naarm/Melbourne. She is the founder of Neptune, a research and documentation platform for dreams, visions and hallucinations. Manisha is one-half of Whelk, a musical collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Genevieve Fry.
Sometimes, life asks me to be in two places at once. When I undertook this residency, I was experiencing overwhelm. I was moving into a new home, working on several creative projects, planning writing classes and traveling interstate. Amidst the overwhelm, I had neglected practices that embraced renewal.
I have grown up with rituals. From an early age, my mother instilled in me the importance of beauty and care. She made natural face masks with oil and turmeric and doused my hair in coconut oil. She taught me the importance of plants and the ways they have been used in ayurvedic beauty for thousands of years.
Taking part in this residency allowed me to connect with this ancient practice again. I was reminded of how many stories are held in the body. I connected with ancient oils and their magic in a new way. I allowed myself to inhale and exhale, deeply. Most importantly, my time at Little Company inspired a commitment to stop, pause and meditate regularly.
As the outcome of my time at Little Company, I composed Figure.
Figure speaks to the dissolution of self that occurs with ritual.
I saw two foxes while completing this residency – a good omen I believe.
A vespertine figure rides a bicycle through the roads of another time. The figure can only see monuments by the fire of the moon. The figure whispers into the ear of the sandstone tiger at the end of the road. The tiger comes alive as bone and skin. The figure collapses into the invisible mathematics of the universe. The tiger casts an arrow into the palm of the fire.
I witness the illusion of monuments. I put on the monsoon. I am the tiger. I take off the yarrow stalk. I am the vespertine figure. My terracotta head and shoulders fragment into the invisible waistline of the universe. I put on my history. I am a theory. I take off my sunglasses. I am immaterial. We put on and take off our constellations, to symbolise a journey to heaven, then a return to earth.
A vespertine flower opens in the border between the figure and the tiger. The construction and de-construction of living sculpture is anarchic and sacred.
The tiger gives the vespertine figure a handmade telescope.
The figure witnesses the lovers swimming in the Milky Way. They are guided by a traveling lamp in the celestial foliage. It is green, like innocence.
The tiger dissolves into the invisible symmetry of the universe.