Diagrams of the Cosmos: The Art of the Mandala
This multicultural exploration of religious, historical and artistic expression features mandalas from the seemingly disparate worlds of traditional religion and contemporary art, each using impermanent materials. The perfect circle with no beginning and no end is perhaps the most universal of human symbols. Men and women from virtually every society have used the circle to manifest spiritual truths. The mandala, a circular form closely associated with sacred art of Tibet and India, is a symbolic representation of the universe - a "diagram of the cosmos." As such, the mandala serves as a reflection of both the shape of the universe outside and the sense of wholeness in one's own body and mind within. Visitors will see how this form is expressed in sacred Hindu and Buddhist art. Also included is work by contemporary American artist Sara Bates, who uses mandala forms in her own personal expression of her Cherokee heritage. Lectures, slide presentations, and special performances are part of this unique museum experience. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the CALIFORNIA COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES, a state program of the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES.