Mandalas

Yellow embroidered mandala
Rainbow embroidered mandala
Koleidoscope filtered photo of a small part of the embroidered mandala.

The mandala project is a new embroidery/digital photography iteration of the utopian, contemplative labour ideas that underpin the Happy Sleepy collaboration.

Fine craft making as contemplation and creative labour as social and political action are part of many indigenous and traditional cultures. I (Magda) use the slow process of fine craft, such as embroidery and beadwork, as self-healing. Mandalas, themselves symbols of the universe, give form to ideas of providence and balance.

Thread and pearls mandala
Photography with a kaleidoscope filter of embroidery thread, glass beads, pearls, and shadows.

Balancing Reminders

We all need reminders of the bigger truths that underpin our daily effort because the odds can seem stacked against us sometimes and the effort can feel futile. The text on the mandalas are personal sayings that help to integrate the paradox of our lives: we must foster an optimistic attitude while we also need to accept great change and loss.

The phrases “The Universe Provides” and “Reabsorbed by the Universe” are beaded within the embroidery, turning the mandalas into linguistic as well as visual meditations on the bounty and balance of the universe.

See all finished work in the Mandala Gallery.

Embroidered and beaded mandala

The Universe Provides“, 10 x 10 inches, linen, pine hoop, hand embroidered with cotton, beaded with seedbeads and semiprecious stones, Magda Wojtyra 2016

Embroidered and beaded mandala

Reabsorbed by the Universe“, 7 x 7 inches, linen, pine hoop, hand embroidered with cotton, beaded with seedbeads and semiprecious stones, Magda Wojtyra 2016

Kaleidoscope Photography

The mandalas were inspired by a kaleidoscopic filter on a cellphone camera app that turns any view into a radiating, swirling pattern.

The very first mandala, pictured above, was made by photographing a hairbrush. The brush had black tines tipped with pink plastic, on a pad of charcoal grey rubber. The resulting photo looked like the tines could be embroidery stitches and pink seedbeads on a grey fabric. The pink of the brush handle is the central swirl and outermost border.

See all blogposts with kaleidoscope photo filter mandalas.

What's Next?

Posts documenting the embroidery, sketches, and various work in progress.

Mandalas Inspiration

Posts related to the forms and ideas in the mandala project.

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