Angela Kirby

Adelaide, Australia

  • Artist

Artist's Description

The Mandala in Life
I have been working with mandalas for several years now and I distinctly remember the day I began studying them. The Diploma I was working through was experiential and thus drawing mandalas and experiencing the profound effects they have. I felt elated, centred and calm after completing one.
When I feel entangled in life’s many challenging moments or when I simply feel the need to draw, I go to my easel, or to a space where I can draw, and begin a mandala. If I was feeling a sense of anxiety or stress, within a very short time it will have dissipated and then moved out of my Super Ego and then I move back into a better level of feeling within my sense of self after the drawing.
With my paintings I have always done thumb nail sketches and know loosely what I am going to paint and which colours I will use when I get to the canvas. But with mandalas they are very much in the moment; which unfolds a story of where I am right now. It is self therapy, that when viewing the mandala, assists in any healing, soothing or uplifting that is required. This can’t necessarily be explained.
Mandalas are a very sacred part of me, of us and of life and I certainly feel a great privilege to continue drawing them. And so when I go to my easel I just begin. I don’t have a plan as that is not what these are about for me.
Some mandalas may just arrive and are executed within a short time, easily drawn while others are very much a journey of a seemingly arduous discovery. They are all a discovery but some stages appear to be more drawn out, sometimes taking many days to complete, explored and worked through to get to the other side where I feel comfortable with the result. At times I feel like giving up, that it’s possibly ruined or the paper may well be overworked, then, like a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a sense of hope, something changes and the piece takes on a whole new face. I have learnt to go with it, to let go, and I never know where a new work will take me. I don’t work intellectually with the piece, as that doesn’t achieve anything, more rumination and then completion arrives. Mistakes are never mistakes, always great learning, and a journey onto a new path, indicative of my life. Of course, it is my life, very telling of where I am at., to go with what’s presenting on the day.
Some mandalas I have around me for months or years, that I feel attached to them and great comfort by seeing them regularly. Then one day I find I am over it and I put it away, its life span visually complete for me. Other mandalas I may rip up immediately, let it go and put it in the bin, I just don’t want it around me at all.
My paintings tell a story of where I am heading in my life, like the story of a tarot card, which never ceases to amaze me. Quite often several of my paintings fulfil a deeper meaning for me some years later; and I see more of the story, another level revealed. I use the landscape for inspiration and not only is it a painting of a landscape but of the many layers of my psyche, as well as the collective unconscious. However, for the time being I am drawing more with mandalas revealing my life in a different manner than my paintings. Fascinating, and I certainly feel that this work is for us all to view, that we all gain something from the pieces. As we do when viewing the many mandalas that others present in varied forms from the many cultures around the world.
Angela Kirby 29th February 2008

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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