“What’s a mandala?” people wanted to know in the lead up to our March Mandalas workshop on Friday the 13.
Well, before getting down to those details, we should explain a couple of important points.
First, Art Partners was awarded a Community Inclusion and Participation Grant from the Disability Services Commission to run a series of art workshops and activities. We were keen to test drive the idea of mandala-making, an activity that artists and those who consider themselves to be not quite so artistic could potentially enjoy while working side by side.
Second, Peter Sproul, who is the Executive Director of Community Living Kingston and District (Ontario, Canada), and his wife Karen were scheduled to be in Bunbury on March 13. Peter was visiting Australia to learn about human service systems, and we were given the opportunity by consultant Leighton Jay to meet with Peter and introduce him to the Art Partners world.
A talk-fest can be a fine thing. But, better yet is an activity in which one actually does. We thought why not marry test driving the mandala workshop and the visit from Peter.
And, so March Mandalas was born. Before we go any further, and according to the website Art is Fun: “A mandala is a complex abstract design that us usually circular in form. Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which emanates an array of symbols, shapes and forms. Designing your own mandalas can be both inspirational and therapeutic.”
A group of 12 gathered at The Red Mill Studio Gallery, and set about creating mandalas using paint applied to stamps of different shapes (loaned to us by the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries). The variety of mandalas clearly reflects the many personalities and artistic backgrounds of those who attended.
Chris and Mike
Judging by their smiles, these two brothers clearly enjoyed themselves. At the end of the workshop, Chris was wearing his mandala like a king.
Tracey and Billie
Tracey (camera shy) and Billie, a long-time Art Partners mentor, produced beautiful mandalas which combine geometric and organic forms.
Janine and Beryl
Art Partners pals Janine and Beryl (the duo had teamed up for last year’s December Doodles) were right at home at The Red Mill Studio Gallery where they attend a weekly art class. We are unable to show you Janine’s finished mandala, as she whisked it away at the end of the workshop to show friends and family.
Peter and Karen
Peter, who claimed to be not so artsy, proved otherwise. Both he and Karen produced lovely mandalas, with Peter choosing to outline his shapes with a fine brush rather than a black marker.
Emma and Helen
Emma, who is very fond of drawing cartoon characters, and Helen, the Art Partners Consulting Artist, produced mandalas of very contrasting styles. Emma’s is structured with Helen’s being very organic.
Kathy and Wanda
Both Kathy and Wanda found mandala-making to be very engaging. Wanda didn’t quite finish hers, while Kathy’s finishing touch – a happy face in the centre – ensures it will always have the right orientation.
Everyone was asked to decide if they would like to attend another workshop to make a second mandala or try their hand at something else. The responses were evenly split: four for more mandalas, four for something else, and four for both (mandalas and something else).
Thanks everyone for coming along and test driving the workshop!
Over to You
Do you think you would enjoy a mandala-making workshop? Or, would you like to try your hand at something else? Let us know in the comments section, and you could win (by random draw) two gift certificates to Bunbury’s Grand Cinemas. Comment by April 17, and you’ll be eligible!
Special thanks to photographer André Pilon for helping us sort the white balance in some of our photographs!