research

Artist Research – Mandalas

  • Arthur Louis is a French contemporary street artist who uses mandalas to influence his work. His designs mostly represent the Buddhist Lotus flower and his work shows up everywhere from sidewalks to abandoned buildings. From looking at his work you can clearing see just how much this geometric imagery can transform an urban area. He works very much as though he was working in sand though as his images are in public spaces  they only last a moment before being washed away.

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I think with his style of mandalas I prefer when he uses white as this as you can see effectively contrasts with the pavement underneath. It is very interesting to look at as the white geometric patterns are very different to the dark dirty ground that he has chosen as his canvas. Arthur-Louis explains the work by saying, “It’s a way for me to interfere with people’s everyday life.” I think his outlook on his artwork is very inspiring as he wants to create a piece of art that will make a difference and change someones outlook on the world that day when they see it. His artwork could also last up to a day to a month depending on the weather, making it more memorable and special if you do encounter it.

  • Alex Hamilton is a very different artist to Arthur as he focuses on incorporating colour into his work. Although he is also a contemporary artist he is based in South Africa and his mandalas reflect his meditation and thoughts on that specific day.

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Hamilton opened his own gallery in 1997 that specialises in young emerging artists. From the images of his artwork it is evident that he enjoys working with acrylic on canvas. As I never used this method to create mandalas I find it very interesting to see the effect of it and although some of the detail is lost by using the paint I feel that the colour brings light to the work and I think this is very interesting.

  • Stephanie Smith is a much more of a modern artist that has experimented into the art world of mandalas. She has created over 1500 in the past 4 years and finds the art form healing and addictive. She mostly uses drawing and painting to create her patterns but she also finds mandalas and creates them out of every day things and photographs them.

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An aspect in Stephanie’s work that is very different to most mandalas is the incorporation of repetitive words and mantras within her art. To this she explains that “When working with patterns in a concentric fashion, it becomes rhythmic, meditative, and you can really allow stress to fall away. I find that if there is a specific thing I want to pray or meditate upon to bring into my life, I find it helpful to use words in the mandala.” Stephanie has also taken her mandalas one step further and has started to produce her work onto different objects, much like I am hoping to do.

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From these examples it is clear that by taking mandalas and using different materials as your canvas can really change up the product you are working with. For example the notebook she has worked on evidently used to be a plain brown notebook but with her rhythmic geometric patterns she has created a whole new product.

  • Stephen Meakin is another world renowned artist that has a highly recognisable style as he creates extremely detailed traditional mandalas. His work looks very simple to klaediscope designs and he incorporates a lot of butterfly designs into his mandalas. He produces pieces extremely large scale and works a majority of the time on canvas.

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As you can see from this photo of his mandala he enjoys to contrast different shades and colours of almost bright neon colours. He uses darker colours for the small detail against a bright canvas so as to become more bold and evidently stand out.

  • Lize Beekman is a musician and artist based in South Africa who reinvents old traditional mandala art into something more modern and unique. She explains that Music and lyrics have always been channels for me to express my emotions. However, in an extremely traumatic and hurtful time in my life I simply could not express my grief through words.  I had no knowledge of mandalas – they presented themselves to me unannounced.  I did not search for them; they were simply there.  I often draw for hours and days on end and sometimes lose track of time; for me the mandalas have become the letters, conversations, and the prayers of my heart and thoughts.  The creative process brings me immense peace and healing – it means a lot to me.” 363-FRAME2-600x600441-Mandala-All-of-us-1-600x600Growth--600x600

She works with pencil, ink oil and sometimes even gel to create her pieces of work. All of her mandalas are extremely detailed but in their own unique and individual way.

After looking at such a range of different mandalas it is very evident that there are a variety of ways to create and produce mandalas and they work with every canvas and every colour. From this research I am now of the opinion that all of the artists that create art work with a mandala influence are doing it for either historical or meditation reasons and I think that’s beautiful.

 

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