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Practise - Mandalas from the Journey

Artist Statement


Practise > verb
Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly in order to improve or maintain proficiency in it.

Practice > noun
The actual application of a plan or method, as opposed to the theories relating to it.

My life has been based in creativity and spirituality for over 30 years - I create mandalas, play guitar, sing, write, study, teach, and perform yoga and meditation: a great proportion of my life is dedicated to practise/practice.

When I was living in Dharamsala 2005 I had the wonderful good fortunate to meet and talk with Venerable Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. She asked me what I was doing in Dharamsala - 'was I there to teach English?' I told her as well as teaching English to the women weavers I had set up a music program and was teaching guitar and singing to some of the younger refugees.

She paused, thought for a moment and then said 'Yes that could be a good practice'. That statement had me contemplating her words for years to come.

Tenzin Palmo spent 12 years living alone in a cave in the Himalayas. In all that time she never lay down to sleep.

Sometimes people ask me what I gained from living for so many years in a cave, I say, It's not what I gained, it's what I lost
(Palmo 2000).

We've all got to make our own journey towards the reality of putting it into practice - as opposed to just thinking or talking about doing it - whatever it is?

My mandala artwork has served me as the primary form of meditation and contemplation throughout my life so far. It has developed my powers of concentration and insight, helped me travel through inner landscapes and allowed me the space and time to heal life's hurts and bruises, as well as celebrate life's victories. Mandalas are about looking for wholeness in the process, about finding a starting point and letting things come together gradually from there. Stepping out of the world of doing, into the world of being and then back - they are a journey not a destination.
As a practitioner I highly recommend the art of the mandala to everybody.

The mandalas in this exhibition were inspired by my travel both external and internal over the past couple of years. Thank you for visiting my exhibition, I wish you well on your journey and joy in your practice.