Grattan beach Mandala Project

This Project took place at Grattan beach, near Galway City on July 22nd 2012

A mandala is a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle". A mandala is an integrated structure organized around a unifying centre. The mandala pattern is used in many religious traditions. 

I invited members of the public to help me build a mandala on Grattan beach using all natural materials. Twenty-three people took part in the project. Most of the participants helped build the main unifying circle and then everyone choose a section to work on individually. Everyone made their own uniquely designed artwork. It was a successful project because everyone felt part of a unifying experience in which they expressed themselves individually within a unified structure. For me as an artist working with groups of people this is always my objective. Couples made love hearts for each other, the pronounced uncreatives in the beginning ended up creating something unique and wonderful in which they felt very proud off. Some got competitive and tried eagerly to make the ‘best’ piece, others got lost within themselves for hours through the act of creation. Parents and children teamed up to make a family artwork. Some people learned about the Buddhist and Hindu sacred art form, the mandala. Others made miniature gardens and pretty butterflies. Some made sandcastles and mermaid sand sculptures. The mandala artwork was full of color and intricate detailed patterns. It had stories to tell and lives embraced.  

Below are images of the Mandala artwork that was created by the twenty-three people who participated that day


And then at around 6.30pm that evening the tide came in and washed it all away. It was beautiful, poetic, moving. As I watched the yellow flowers floating on the water, the orange washed ashore, I felt a huge sense of gratitude for the impermanence of life and ecstatic in and for the present moment.


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