25 Mar 2013

The Mandala Workshop

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Mandala Workshop
March 1-3, 2013
Visual Arts Council (Henry Tayali Gallery, Showgrounds)

The participants of the workshop were 50 children from different schools and organisations
based in Lusaka, who were selected from a competition held at the beginning of the year
according to their artistic ability. The workshop was conducted by two Zambian artists,
Mwamba Mulangala and Laurie Nevers, as well as by the stArt team and with the help of
volunteers. Sponsorship was received by the Estelle Trust, a private charitable fund based in
the UK with interests in social development and education, and with a large focus in Zambia.

The objective of the workshop was for each child to make a Mandala which is a circular
artwork made from synchronised patterns, created by Buddhist monks and seen in
Indian temples. The children would use as their medium Zambian chitenge cloth which is
traditionally worn by most Zambian women, in order to create the shapes and patterns of
the artwork in a harmonised format.

The children were instructed to create patterns either by cutting out what patterns existed
on the fabric, or by creating their own pattern and cutting this from the fabric. These
patterns were then arranged onto a circular piece of card, about 60 cm in diameter. As
there were a variety of cloths to choose from, the artworks were based on a collage design
of the cut out patterns, using concepts such as harmony, balance, unity and rhythm to
achieve the final product.

The workshop was a great success, where the children enjoyed themselves and the creation
process immensely, producing some outstanding artworks. The mandalas express a great
sense of movement and artistic vision. They will be mounted and displayed at our upcoming
exhibition on May 3rd, the theme of which is Movement/ Momentum.

Many thanks to Mwamba and Laurie, Vandita our stArt workshop co-ordinator, all who
helped out, the children for their enthusiasm, Peder Bjorling for the Mandala video, and
Estelle Trust for making it all possible.

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