Art plays a very important role in this practice of transformation, not only to inspire, but to present sacred imagery for visualisation meditation.Tashi MannoxThe art of calligraphy is to communicate meaning with beauty that captures and holds the attention until the meaning is thoroughly absorbed. Then the artist has done his job.
Tashi Mannox is a fine example of this age old principle. A dedicated and warm hearted character shines through the life example of this British born calligrapher. His style is unique, both disciplined and playful, and shows ranges of free expression, while at the same time rooted in a living tradition from India through Tibet.
Tashi Mannox studied meticulously for years on end with some of the finest artists and calligraphers of the twentieth century and is today regarded as being among the finest in his craft.
Each work of calligraphy becomes more a painting with meaning, above and beyond the paper and ink. His artwork turns into a conversation topic and invites deeper reflection and discovery. In Tashi’s own words: I have to draw sacred meaning into my work, it has to have merit. That process begins in meditation. To work the artist must achieve a state of mind clear of everyday ‘clutter’ and unbiased by his own expectations. I don’t wish to paint with a mind filled with conflicting emotions but strive to be natural and unbiased.
LEVEKUNST had a chance to ask Mr. Mannox about his work:
First, how do you define art from a tantric perspective?
In simple terms, the tantric perspective means transformation, the skilful means of transferring what is ordinary to sacred, this is partly achieved through symbolism, new divine conditioning to replace the mundane conditioning that binds us in samsara. The tantric practice of engaging the body, speech and mind in physical yoga, mantra and meditation is enriched by what is seen and heard. Art plays a very important role in this practice of transformation, not only to inspire, but to present sacred imagery for visualisation meditation. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition in particular is rich in sacred art and a means to transcend and liberate.
Please give a personal advice to people who want to be both an artist and a meditator, but feel art conflicts with their spiritual aspirations.
If as an artist one has conflict with ones spiritual practice, then one may have wrong view and caught up in separatism. It is important to see everything as Dharma and everything sacred, to embody spirituality with everyday life and not to be dualistic. Another problem as an artist is to become too caught up in aesthetic qualities and not appreciate the symbolic meaning behind the beauty or power of art. One needs to realise what makes something beautiful or pleasing is not just pretty colours and form, but perhaps something more ultimate and sacred that is communicated. The connection between heaven and earth. The responsibility of an artist is to provide a window to where the viewer can see the divine, that touches the heart to the very core.
Tashi Mannox kindly offered a new version of Padmasambhava’s Seven Line Prayer, painted year 2015, and not as yet publicized even on his own website.
In the land of Uddiyana’s northwest border,
On the pistils of a lotus flower’s stem,
You have reached the marvel of the supreme siddhi,
And became known by the name the Lotus-Born.
With surrounding circles of many dakinis,
In your footsteps I will reach accomplishment.
Please approach in order to bestow your blessings.
GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUNG
On his website is a gallery and exhibition as well as a chance to purchase original artwork and prints of contemporary and traditional calligraphy. Look also for his tattoo designs, works and exhibition events.
Here is an inspirational, beautiful movie about calligraphy and a rare glimpse of a spiritual artist with noble intent:
All design images and photographs remains copyright TASHI MANNOX
Photo of Tashi Mannox by migtsema.com
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