Circle of Life

Circle of Life is a short digital film created by Michelle Poonwalla for the 7th Mediations Biennale in Poland, this year titled Event Horizon. For the 7th edition the biennale has expanded f rom it’s home of Poznan to 7 Polish cities including Jelenia Góra, Katowice, Łódź, Mosina, Poznań, Szczecin and Warsaw with Circle of Life being shown in Warsaw as part of an exhibition titled The Sky's the Limit.

The biennale features artists looking for new means of expression, operating interdisciplinarily between the analog and digital world with The Sky's the Limit having a particular focus on artists who explore ideas around conflict, compassion, identity and memory - these artistic narratives literally extend visual boundaries and the Sky's the Limit.

Poonawalla’s work Circle of Life forms a 3 minute 36 second digital video which takes the viewer on a journey through their subconscious mind, encouraging them to identify their memories and address how the elements in the film and real life affect and challenge these memories. Whilst still incorporating Poonawalla’s butterfly motif, a symbol which denotes f reedom and the f ragility and metamorphoses of life, the film follows on f rom Poonawalla’s recent body of work as a filmmaker to address ongoing global issues through an immersive multi sensory experience.

Portrayed as a journey, the butterflies take us on a flight into our subconscious mind. The film starts with calm images of tree bark, oceans and plant leaves - depicting our early growth and development - before becoming more f renzied to reference more challenging situations and circumstances. The imagery changes to blood red flowers, the oceans turn to desert sands, and we see a tangle of knotted tree roots reflecting more painful experiences, routes and options as our lives become more complex. Finally the work ends in a calmer and stiller period of life as the ocean turns to ice.

The 7th Mediations Biennale runs f rom the 1st October to the 30 December and the full program can be found at