Friday, February 11, 2011

Sand Man, Sand Dancer, Sand Art

Peter Donnelly has three or four hours between tides to produce his artwork. He's based in Christchurch, New Zealand and his canvas is the sand at the beach. He's working down on the beach, of course, and doesn't have an arial perspective of the large images he's making, but he says he's always been able to picture things in his head.


Donnelly's work echoes the philosophy of the Tibetan Buddhist monks who create sand mandalas and demonstrate the impermanence of everything. He knows that it's all temporary and does it anyway. In one video he mentions that he has created 697 works in nine years. You'll see swirls, checkerboards, teardrops, spirals, words, human forms, labyrinths and more. Zentangle enthusiasts will recognize a kindred spirit who also works dark on light, taking the lines and patterns wherever the spirit moves him, albeit on a much larger scale!

Watch a 10 minute video of Peter Donnelly and his work here.
See some still photos and another video, and read a bit more here.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing his artwork. In my day in college art, his art would be termed "conceptual" because of the impermanence - is that a word? Anyway, it is very inspiring.

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  2. He and his work are amazing !!! Stunning ! I could watch him create all day I think !! lol !! Thank you so much for sharing ..

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  3. Fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing the information about this amazing artist. I appreciate it!

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  4. I once watched some Tibetan monks making sand mandalas.Yes the idea of reflecting on impermanence is a good one.I love those photos.Thankyou for always having something REALLY interesting on your Blog.

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  5. Thanks for the link. I am going to be sure to look this up next time I am down in Chch. I hope he is still doing it.

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  6. What a talented artist! Amazing!!

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  7. Thank you, Margaret... what an incredible artist! Anicca (Anicca-saññā in Pali), impermanence, is probably one of my favourite concepts. When I am sad, I think, "This too shall pass." When I am happy, I think, "Live in the Now!" But believing in this idea and living it are so very different (I'm good at one and every day learning the second!). This artist is living this truth in his art - which is so inspiring!! I have noticed that, if I'm tangling a ZT, and get to the, "well that's irretrievable!" way of thinking, then I 'let go' and finish the tile - which frequently becomes one of the most free and flowing designs I've ever done.... and all because I was truly able to take the journey one pen stroke at a time after letting go my attachment to a permanent outcome. I think there's another lesson (for me!!) in there somewhere. [smile]

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