My focus as an environmental artist has been to work in harmony with the natural environment, in specific places (Fish River, the eastern province border, on beaches, the karoo landscape, the construction of houses in harmony with nature and in the settings that spontaneously presented itself. Many of the mandala – installations were temporary (either washed away by the sea or has disintegrated back into nature). My approach encompasses a range of artistic practices, focussing on nature in art and ecological and politically motivated types of works.
The installations are interactive, create spaces of beauty that people can visit, a temporary destination to give them strength, through the experience of the inexhaustible completeness of Nature. The stone circles, stupas, labyrinths, mandalas - potential utopias under every stone, every tree-stump, every dry branch an earth-angel – pitting poetry against the polemics and challenges of the twenty-first century.
Diary – Mandala on beach at Kleinemonde (1995)
“The mandala was built spontaneously, a ritual blessing to my family, friends, all acquaintances and all sentient beings to move through the chaos of their beings and embodiments to a remembering of their true nature as Essence, as the inexhaustible Source and Still Point. The idea was to invoke a sense of balance between earth, humans, animals, the plant, and mineral kingdom. It was an indescribable moment when the tide came in and took the mandala into the huge arms of Mother Ocean. It felt like a door has been created between heaven and earth, birth and death and in time and space, just for a moment to actualize and integrate the truth of being unbound”.
Mandala at Kredouw Olive Estate (Prince Albert Valley) - 2018
It is a special offering to our shared history in South Africa to build this mandala, The Circle of Hearts at Kredouw Olive Estate. It is a symbolic attempt at restoring balance and this specific mandala has been built all over South Africa as a ritual enactment of this intention, since 1995.
The crucial message of the Circle of Hearts-mandala is that change and transformation in the world starts with the individual, in which the heart is the centre of embodied life and the illumination and image of the sun within man.
“We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love”. Tennessee Williams