Today was the day that the Mandala was taken down. Sadly I was too busy to photograph the final day but I thought I would share some of the other pictures.
One of the things I love most about photography is the fact that you can take an event like this and show the scope of what’s happening. The picture above is a shot of the entire mandala at that point in time. It’s beautiful. You can get a small idea of the layering. The mandala is a three dimensional creation with some sections filled deeper with sand than others. This of course doesn’t limit the artwork.
This picture shows the center of the mandala. I’m by no means an expert in this sort of art, but I believe the center represents enlightenment. Enlightenment is what the monks strive to attain, in this case, though the Zen of this art form. The level of work that has gone into this project at this time is indescribable.
Here is a close up shot of a monk working with a fine tool making marks in the sand. Sadly the angle that I was able to get doesn’t show the markings that this monk is making, but the attention to detail can be seen. This is a much closer shot of the monk working.
Look at the amount of work that goes into one of these mandalas only to be destroyed as soon as it's finished. Photography is the art of harnessing light to make an image, but the artform of the mandala is designed to be all in the creation, it's like a painter with a technique, you can admire how the strokes are performed, however like a dance this is fleeting. Available to be observed only once. It may be recreated, but it will never be exactly the same. That's why I love these pictures the most. I captured somone else's beautiful moment, and can share it with the world.
While I was here I had the opportunity to talk to and observe the way that several other photographers took pictures of the same thing. It was a pleasure to see them work. In this way the monks brought us all together. Which is really the point of what they do on a basic level. For what is enlightenment, but the connection to the world or people around you.