The Tauranga Art Gallery has consistently brought to the Bay of Plenty region and Tauranga district a variety of art and creativity. Nothing exemplifies this more than the 2017 installation art of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala. Lee Switzer followed the development of the Mandala and here is his photo essay.
At the opening on 8 February, the monks were greeted by song,
The group then ascended to the second floor of the gallery. The three monks Venerable Geshe Jamyang Sherub of tho Sam Dhargyey Ling, Tauranga Venerable Karma Gyasey of Jam Tse Dhagyeyt Ling, Whangarei,Venerable Ani Rakshita, Tauranga, Buddhist Nun offered a prayer.
After the prayer, Ven. Geshe Jamyang Sherub and Ven. Karma Gyasey ascended the elevated platform to begin painting the Medicine Buddha Mandala. It continually grew until completed on 19 February 2017.
This series of photos shows the development of the mandala during succeeding days.
The Mandala was ceremoniously decimated on 11 March 2017 at 10:00am with the Buddhist in colourful apparel accompanied by fanfare. The sand particles were offered to the public who could keep their sample or take it with the group to the waterfront where it was cast into the water with a final prayer.
The first mandala in Tauranga was painted in 2001. It was a Compassion Buddha. At that time the current Tauranga Art Gallery was still just a shell. The Tauranga Art Gallery Trust purchased the building from the Bank of New Zealand bank for $1.7 million in 1999. In 2007, while the TAG was under construction, a second mandala was painted , but on this occasion, it was in an empty building nearby.
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Text and Images by Lee Switzer: Lee is a regular contributor to ARTbop – photo essays, articles and poetry. Lee is multi-talented producing sought-after images of local artists and exhibitions. He has been an archival photographer around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty for some years – the details of this body of work are below. You can find examples of Lee’s contributions in our ARTbop archives.
Find more writing and photos by Lee Switzer at http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/tauranga_city_libraries_history/topics/show/2538-photographic-index-lee-switzer
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