Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sacred Space: Impermanent Gifts

Danmala, by Kathy Klein
via Colossal

What is it about us humans that makes us want to rearrange natural objects into patterns? When I find myself in a beautiful setting, sometimes the most natural thing to do seems to be to make some sort of "offering" to the beauty I find myself surrounded by. An arrangement of shells, in some attempt to align my own perspective with the greater landscape. An arrangement of rocks, as a greeting to others, a sign of recognition that my own perspective can blend with others'. 

Kathy Klein's danmalas are a good example of this kind of art. Visit her gallery to see a quilt of technicolor patterns, all created from flower petals. She describes "centering" herself and creating the art in a state of devotional silence. The designs she creates seem to pulsate from the blending of her state of mind with the natural matter she works with.

Some of my favorite art is the kind that is meant to be impermanent. There's something so poignant about making something, knowing that when you leave it behind, it will eventually be returned to the earth. There's something beautiful, too, in leaving the art to be discovered for others who happen to be passing by. I sometimes want to hoard everything that's beautiful, and making something that can be left behind is a good exercise in sharing and letting go, even if a photograph allows us to hold onto the art in some sense!

Shell Offering by me

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