"To see a world in grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower."
The images exhibited here began with macro photographs of the giant dandelion.. and a mistake. My intention was to make a whimsical greeting card for one of my brothers facing surgery, and for an eleven year old boy awaiting a liver transplant. Disappointed with the first photographs I scanned my negatives and began playing. There was no idea to conform to, no predetermined design... simply a spontaneous playful curiosity. The more I played, the more patterns emerged... which subsequently morphed into Mandalas.
"Mandala" is a Sanskrit word loosely translated to mean circle, or completion. It is a diagram containing universal shapes and symbols within a circle, or a squared circle. The circle is the preeminent geometric symbol of Oneness and Wholeness.
According to the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, mandalas represent universal archetypes in the individual psyche. His theory of "the collective unconscious" is based on his findings of the universality of mandalas. He found that,"mandalas emerge in times of personal and social upheaval and this is evidently an attempt at self-healing on the part of nature, which does not spring from conscious reflection, but from an instinctive impulse." C.G. Jung
Mandalas are constructed with various materials, organic and inorganic, from rice and sand, which is the preference of Buddhist monks, to stainted glass windows, oil painting, to computer-generated fractal geometry pioneered by the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot.
The "Dandelion Mandalas" began with a small section of a macro photograph of a dandelion. No other elements were added. Just a "weed" and light. The color is derived from the flower, plant, or object behind the dandelion at the time of being photographed. No two dandelions are exactly alike. The "Water Lace" mandala shows the strength of the "fragile" filaments to hold heavy drops of rain... in the empty space between them.
The images in the "Molecular Mandala" portfolio reveal the symbiotic relationship between art and science. They began with microscopic views of healthy human cells from a Confocal Laser Scanning microscope...courtesy of a microbiologist. Subsequently I transfered the raw data into photoshop via medical imaging software...then playtime! Many patterns and shapes emerge... fractal formations and mythic images.
Simple. Soft. Sensuous. The "Rose Mandalas" are constructed from a variety of roses... mostly peony roses. The apparently dense texture of their petals become translucent in the presence of sunlight.
Mandala art is found in all world religions, and most cultures. Whereas religious mandalas, (called Yantras), are used as instruments to facilitate meditation, and display a specific style …that of representing a microcosm of the universe; individual mandalas use unlimited motifs and symbolic allusions, and are used to promote personal transformation and healing.
Everywhere in nature one can find organic mandalas and fractal geometry, from the structure of coral, to a fern leaf, a sunflower, human lungs, the majesty of a crystallized snowflake, to the lowly "weed" we call a dandelion. Hence the tile of this exhibit: Organic Mandalas. I added "cosmic" to the title simply because there is something "cosmic" and something healing about these images, and therein lies the mystery.