Garian's Mandala

This grant proposal is for support during a work in progress. Garian's Mandala is a collaborative, site-specific Territory Landscape installation. All work is done jointly with fellow artist En Burk. As fall approaches we are nearing the end of phase one. Some initial structures are in place, the basic concepts have proved viable, the stories, feelings and details are starting to emerge. The real heart of the work lies ahead of us, with a final opening date in June, 2000.

It seems that I do a number of different things in my life. Initially trained in theatre, I taught school for a while and then moved into writing childrens books. Lately though I've been drawn towards finding a synthesis of all the concerns that motivated my various career directions. I've always been convinced that the source of our lives exists in some place that can't be found in our everyday world. All my stories point to some untellable story that can only be alluded to, all my teaching work with individuals has been a nudge to make links with their personal untouchable source, all my plays have looked for ways to actively enact paths that lead the audience to believe in some unpresentable place. Bullets. That make a hole and pass through the target. Instead of shooting at the target, why not make an expedition to the territory of the target itself and begin a more intimate association?

A mandala would be an interesting target to explore and inhabit. Traditionally there is an entity/deity/elder who inhabits a mandala. In our mandala Garian would be such a one. Mandalas are usually presented in two dimensions. We will be following this tradition by cross stitching Garian's Mandala into a wool rug on the floor of the installation space. A mandala is often the base or foundation of a three dimensional form. We will be doing this with string, fabric, stone and other materials throughout the installation space. The three dimensional forms are traditionally visualized by extending the two dimensional mandala floor plan. Likewise further dimensional movement can be inferred by acting consciously within and amongst the three dimensional forms. We will be doing this by presenting paths and movement stories for visitors to observe and enact. Meditation. Energy paths. Story lines. Ceremonies.

Big project: the floor mandala rug will be a 20 foot circle - takes a lot of wool and rug backing. Takes a long time: gotta sit still and do just what needs to be done. Major pieces of the installation still have to be visualized. We're planning to present a sand mandala of the whole mandala at the centre of the installation. Opportunity: for visitors to view the installation from time to time as a work in progress, to see and be seen by Garian, to take part in the enactments themselves. Needed: money for materials to pull a little emptiness into form, money for time to be intimate with Garian and the Mandala Garian inhabits.

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