Environmental

Process

Inspiration and Idea Development

When I first heard about this project, creating a mandala came first to mind. I am a yoga instructor as well as a florist, so mandala combine the two areas. I choose to go to a local garden and create my mandala in the garden where I found all of my materials.

inspiration image

inspiration image

WIP

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I tried to create my mandala quickly because it was a windy day when I made it. I did not get any in the process photos because of this.

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feet for scale

feet for scale

The mandala disappeared from the wind

The mandala disappeared from the wind

Reflection

I have a background in teaching yoga and meditation. More recently I have focused my energy on my current love: floral design. When I heard about the environmental sculpture, I immediately thought of creating a mandala. Mandala’s have been created for thousands of years as a meditative practice throughout the world. I have seen other artists making flower mandalas with real botanical elements such as flowers and leaves. I wanted to do this in nature using what I could find in the environment. This was the first time I had created a mandala. For me, simply walking in a garden has such as meditative effect. I love the process of taking in what is in season and noticing how different plants flourish in different environments. So for me this entire process had a healing effect. The title of this piece is Mandala in The Garden.

I created this mandala at one of my favourite gardens. This day was warm but breezy. As I walked through the garden I saw some of my favourite summer flower friends. I choose an area to work underneath a tree, away from the breeze. I reached into my hat and pulled out the flowers I had foraged in the garden. I started placing the different pieces in a circular pattern, focusing on different shapes and color. The tree above me created shadows on the ground, and the light and dark shapes danced around me as I made my mandala. The size of the mandala was dependent on how much material I had available. Because I had foraged the plants for a public space, I tried to respect the space and the people who enjoy it. I had used mostly leaves as they are fast growing in and I tried to be minimal in the amount of flowers I took and used from the space.

I feel very happy with this piece. For me this piece was less about the physical outcome of what was created, and more about the mindful experience of being in nature and creating with what was available to me in the environment. I like how the foliage of the garden frames the mandala. It looks as if the mandala ends where the plants begin. I like how the shadows of the trees above provided an interesting depth to the piece. This sculpture has a strong natural feel to it. I think that if this mandala was created inside it would have a much different feel. I would like to explore this medium further. The challenges with this particular experience was the wind. The wind moved the pieces around, which changed the overall shape of the sculpture (however, I like the imperfection).