Monday, November 11, 2013

Inspired by Bradford Fuller: Meditating on the Mandala  This gorgeous digital mandala was created by a friend of mine, Bradford Fuller of Brownfield, Maine.  He and his wife Rebecca run the Edge of Maine Gallery and the Stone Mountain House lodging.  They have hosted exhibitions of my work in the past in their gallery.

   Brad is an accomplished photographer and graphic designer and in this post I am featuring his mandalas which he creates using photographic flower studies.

   Frankly, the computer knowledge necessary to create these kinds of images is a bit beyond me but I can meditate on Brad's spectacular creations and that's enough for me.

       So many cultures and faith practices use the mandala as an aid to meditation.  Brad's mandalas have the added benefit of using nature herself as a focus in their creation and that of course is a nice tie in to my form of contemplative photography.

   I've always been fascinated by the symmetry of flowers.  The beauty of their design and unfolding.  How some turn their faces to follow the sun while others bloom only in the night.  Their fragrance and their co-dependency on insects.  Oh, I could go on and on. 

  Here is poem by Hildegard of Bingen, a favorite of mine.  I've mentioned her several times on this blog.   This poem relates nicely to mandalas. (You can read my post about her here.)

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold...
Divinity is in its omniscience and
like a wheel,
a circle, 
a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided,
nor begun nor ended.

   The computer has given us - well, at least the creative and talented ones like Brad - the amazing ability to create stunning images using simple images from nature.   I invite you to visit Brad's website and see more examples of his mandalas as well as his other photographic work. 

ps.  I've ordered the white chrysanthemum mandala above from Brad. After photographing "Eleanor's Flowers"  on Campobello this past September,  I just had to have this one.  He creates back lit pieces, constructions designed to illuminate the gorgeous image.  The mandala is printed on clear acetate and placed behind glass. They seem to glow from within which only enhances the beautiful symmetrical design and the meditative effect. I have to say that this particular mandala is reminiscent of Celtic knot work.  Perhaps that is another reason I am drawn to it.   In the end, however, it is Brad's mastery of the medium that makes this such an exquisite  piece.

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