|A traditional Buddhist sand mandala.|
Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning "a container of essence". It has also been translated, less literally, as "the universe and everything in it" and includes the circumference, the center, and everything in between. Other translation attempts give us sacred assembly, essence container, circle with a center, mystic circle, and sacred circle, among others.
In the west the word mandala has become the term used for artwork in a circular form, specifically two-dimensional work constructed in a concentric format, usually rather complex with symmetrical divisions. The four sides or corners are reminiscent of the four cardinal compass directions. In some traditions the circle and square together represents the connection between our spiritual (circle) and physical (square) natures.
The circle is one of very few virtually universal symbols throughout
history and across cultures, representing eternity, wholeness,
protection and unity. The mandala is symbolic of balance,
transformation, and the interconnection of all things. Mandalas can be
found both in nature and of human design in everything from a bicycle
wheel to Stonehenge, from a cross-section of an orange to a whirling
|An Eritrean woven mat.|
|A fern: one of many natural mandala forms.|
When I create a mandala I greatly enjoy exploring color and shapes and ideas and media, but I am also alluding to the interconnection of everything in creation and my belief in the oneness of humanity.
See more on my website: http://www.artistsincanada.com/bremner
|The design on my cappucino in China.|