Friday, 12 April 2013

Calligraphy of paper and stone

For those who enjoy the art of beautiful letterform, be it inked on paper or incised in stone, of both East and Western traditions. You may enjoy to adventure out to contemplate art in a clear fresh gallery space or dwell in nature to enjoy the freedom of wondering between sculptures of wise words.....

From the 4th May to the 30th June 2013

Internationally celebrated Richard Kindersly and Tashi Mannox hold a joint exhibition at The Monnow Valley Arts Centre, majestically located beside the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacon National Park.

From its purpose built art studio, galleries and beautifully arranged gardens, dotted with scriptural carved standing stones and other sculptural wonders, is a view that inspires greatness and lifts the heart.

Throughout the gardens Richard Kindersly exhibits his calligraphy sculptures called 'Material World'. In this exhibition Richard explores the difference between gestural and geomatrically constructed letter forms. These are skillfully demonstrated as carved letters in sandblasted glass, moulded concrete, wood, steel and paper (sometimes with the same text) to show us how lettering can be used in unusual ways and unusual materials.

While in the studio gallery Tashi Mannox exhibits a collection of works called 'Illuminated Optimism' from his Contemporary and traditional calligraphy series, depicting positive and thought provoking Tibetan Buddhist themes in a medium of ink on paper. Such as his first public showing of 'Hog eats Cock eats Snake' which represents the basic foundation of Samsara and the three aspects of ego: delusion, attachment and aversion, that feed on each other in a perpetual cycle. To remedy this on the path to liberation, Tashi illustrates the classical 'Four Foundations', four topics that are traditionally meditated upon, that lay a firm foundation of right motivation and diligence on the path to enlightenment.

The original Art pieces in the exhibition have been the basis for a series of high quality, limited edition Giclee prints that are also available for sale, making these works accessible to all.

A new embossed mantra art piece also premiers at the exhibition. This piece is the first of a new series of 'ink-less' calligraphy pieces which again demonstrates the diversity of Tashi's talent in bringing the integral tradition of Tibetan calligraphy into the 21st century.

The Immaculate Ushnisha mantra
om padmo ushnisha bi ma le hum phat


This is a purification mantra that is traditionally displayed on a beam or above a doorway.
It is said that the mantra has the power to bless and cleanse every-time one passes below, and is sometimes named as the ‘mind your head’ mantra.  

The Monnow Valley Art centre is open to the public:
Wednesday - Friday 11am - 5pm
Weekends 2 - 5pm

Entrance to gallery exhibitions is free, but a donation is requested if not visiting the gardens.
Entrance to gardens, sculpture and National Collection of Contemporary Memorial Arts is by donation of £5 per adult (concessions £3) children under 14 for free.

The Monnow Valley Arts Centre   see map

01873 860 529

Previous incarnations and new Art

A rare and remarkable old photo of the 16th Karmapa flanked on his right by the 11th Situpa and to his left the 6th Ponlop Rinpoche. 

The photo is believed to be taken in the Late 1940's early 50's near to the seat Tsurpu Monastery of the Karmapa's who is the head of the Kagyu linage.

These three great Kagyu Lamas have since incarnated to continue their linage as realized teachers to benefit all sentient beings. 

It is notable that all three present incarnations are great calligraphy artists. The previous Ponlop Rinpoche was also an accomplished Thanka painter, who has continued his talents in a new medium  till the present day.

'Ego' in English and Tibetan,
by Ponlop Rinpoche.

In old Tibet, at the time of the above photo, calligraphy was practiced as a discipline to a high degree, however was not created as a free expressive art-form as it is in the Japanese Zen tradition. It is only through these new incarnate Lamas, who are engaged with communicating Dharma in the world away from Tibet, that Tibetan calligraphy has developed and established a new expression.

'Kagyu' Tibetan calligraphy by
Tai Situ Rinpoche.

Another great Lama and Kagyu linage holder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and was the first to make this new artistic leap, while establishing Buddha Dharma during the 70's and 80's in America. 
Trungpa Rinpoche created expressive calligraphy art that was a bold and free break-away from the precis Tibetan handwriting styles, followed closely by 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche. Though it is not clear if it was Trungpa who set the new trend or if there was a general awakening of creative expression.

'Dharma' Tibetan calligraphy
by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

If it was not for the brilliance and initiative of the early Tibetan Lamas communicating Dharma, there would not be such a strong and lively practice of Tibetan calligraphy that has established its own place within the contemporary art world.

The late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche