Thursday, November 17, 2011

Collaborative Studio 5, Piece # 1

My Collaborative Studio class just put up our show yesterday.  I think the gallery looks AMAZING!  We started the semester looking for ideas.  We were inspired by the Tibetan idea of the 5 elements, air, fire, water, earth, and ether.  It was opened up to how ever we were inspired by the number 5.  We decided to divide the gallery space up into individual 'rooms' for each of the elements.  Skaggs had the awesome idea of using painter's plastic sheeting to do it.

For my own pieces, I started by researching the Tibetan elements.  While researching, I discovered that each element has a corresponding shape and color.  I also chose to assign each to one of the major religions of the world.  Being a fan of semiotics, I created a series of signs from around the world for each element, as well as for the number 5.  To help unify the pieces, I envision them as “The religions of man, as touched by the hands of a woman.”   Although each piece is based on a religion, I have signed each as a representation that they are art, and not religious artifacts.

Air, White, Half Circle/ Moon Shape, Buddhism

For Air, I chose to hand make a Malayasian Moon Kite (where Buddhism is the second most popular religion) that is also a tribute to Buddhist prayer flags, featuring a Wind Horse, Lung ta,  bearing three flaming jewels on its back. The Ta is a symbol of speed and the transformation of bad fortune to good fortune. The three flaming jewels symbolize the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddhist teachings), and the Sangha (Buddhist community), surrounded by the Four Dignities:  Dragon, residing in the West and representing power; Tiger, residing in the South and symbolizing unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness and modesty; Snow Lion, residing in East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind free of doubt, clear and precise; and the Garuda, residing in the North and symbolizes freedom from hopes and fears, the vast mind without reference point. It is a powerful antidote to the negative influences of Nagas (spirits) which can cause disease and all kinds of harm.

In the bottom is a white lotus, symbolic of purity of mind and an evolved spirit.

These are my tomato stakes, after I cut them.  Along with my supplies as I got ready to make my Malaysian kite.
In the middle of the process of making the frame.
The frame for my moon kite, held in final place.

Making the tassles.  I chose to wrap them 100 times each.
One of the finished tassles.
Getting ready to measure out the fabric.
The cut fabric.
I used the iron on backing and an x-acto knife to cut out my four dignities.  My blister blistered twice in the process, but they turned out beautifully!
After ironing them in place.
Close up on the four dignities.
Attaching the fabric to the frame.
Painting the four dignities.
Making the bells to hang off the bottom.
Painting a lotus, plus my decorative signs.  The alternate between world wide signs for the number 5 and signs for the element Air.
-Almost- finished! 
The finished piece!
"Buddhist Moon Kite", hung on display in the gallery (: 

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