Ines Le Cannellier
Prompt: We were to create our own mandala based on the basic tenets of mandalas and Buddhist philosophy.
Mandalas are symbolic representations of the universe. They are visual manifestations of an individual’s journey toward a deeper sense of self which he achieves by drawing inward. My mandala is a modern interpretation of the universe – pared down and simplified so as to let the viewer more easily access this feeling of “enlightenment”. Equally calming is the process of creating the mandala: focusing on the alignment and repetition of shapes forces one to focus. Making a mandala also invites reflection on the concepts of connection and separation, collectivity and individuality, whole and parts. These meditations are even more relevant in these trying times. As we are all forced to stay apart from one another, we have also been confronted with the reality that we are all one. We are interconnected and dependent on one another. Western societies reinforce the belief that the self is more important than the whole, but the coronavirus has unearthed the universality of uncomfortable feelings. It is unfortunate that it has taken a pandemic for us humans to realize just how inextricably linked we are.
*** Thus, in an attempt to integrate the philosophy of mandalas into my personal minimalist aesthetic, I created Still Life. The title evokes the feeling we are now submerged as we self-quarantine: life seems to have come at a standstill and we are invited to look at still life subjects in a new light. The term still life also encourages contemplation and meditation which are essential components of mandalas. I created two versions of my mandala.