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Thread: Anitya art project

  1. #1

    Anitya art project

    Hello Treeleaf art friends.

    The project I am working on is conceptual. In a series I title Anitya, which is the Sanskrit word for ‘impermanence’, I explore the theme of impermanence as well as the concept that all comes from and returns to the earth.

    The first piece in the series was a land art installation in 2009.

    I used terracotta clay from the mountains of northern NM and formed 81 bowls which I did not fire. In the center hole of each bowl I placed three seed balls, each containing indigenous seeds from our desert area (made from a recipe of Masanobu Fukuoka, some of you may know him for his ground breaking book One Straw Revolution ). The 81 bowls were placed in a 12’ x 12’ grid. Over time with rain, snow and weather the bowls dissolved and the seed balls released their seeds and sprouted. After a year there was no trace of the piece other than some muted red stains and some plant life. The placement of the piece was in an agricultural field in the heart of Albuquerque. I spent 4 years in the 90s working to save this property from development. So it has enormous significance for me.

    This year I am working on a second in the series “Untitled (Anitya series)”, this piece will be placed in a wetland near Santa Fe in the fall. I have made 9 books (traditionally I work in series of 9 repeated shapes) out of the same terracotta clay as with the original Anitya piece, I’ve made paper out of native NM grasses, using 3 pages for each book. Each book is bound with grass. I’m making ink from plants and the red earth to do drawings on the books. Again over time the clay and paper will dissolve back into the earth.
    (I am not sure how to post an image of one of the books. HELP! tried the INSERT IMAGE setting but no image has appeared.)

    Not only are these projects about impermanence, but about non attachment. I witness many, many hours of work dissolve back into the earth. Of course over time everything does, but not before our eyes! It’s a lesson in letting go, and learning that my work is in no way precious.

    The earth is my ground.

    Please if you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear from you. I, like Daizan, am a student, learning as I go.
    Last edited by Cooperix; 07-20-2016 at 04:32 PM. Reason: added link to first Anitya

  2. #2
    Looks very interesting. I look forward to exploring this later tonight when it is quiet. Thank you for sharing!


    sat today

    edit. I also can't upload images, and do not know why. An alternative is using an image hosting site, like imgur, and posting links.
    Last edited by RichardH; 07-20-2016 at 12:34 PM.

  3. #3
    What a wonderful project Anne - thank you so much for sharing !




  4. #4
    That's just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  5. #5
    Hello again,
    Not succeeding in downloading an image of my 'grass book' to this thread, I added an image to my blog.

    If interested you can see an image of the book here. (fingers crossed this works)



  6. #6
    The book photo uploaded fine. It is a beautiful object. It shows a lot of care. A lot of delicate details. I look forward to seeing this project unfold.


    sat today

  7. #7
    Both projects are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
    I like the idea of dissolving books. It's how I think of my ancestors. There was a whole life story, unknown to me, and it has crumbled, melted back into the earth. Maybe to nourish new life.


  8. #8
    The Anitya Book looks fantastic, beautiful, and very thought provoking. Great job!


  9. #9
    For anyone interested here's some images from my blog of the installation of my piece 'grass books i-ix (anitya series') in the wetlands just south of Santa Fe. We installed it on Tuesday and I'm hoping the preserve lets me leave it there to eventually dissolve. IT's part of the landart show 'Wilderness Acts', which celebrates the anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected vast wilderness areas across the U.S.

    It's a magical time in New Mexico, fall!

    humbly and with deep gratitude


  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Thank you.




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    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  11. #11
    Thanks for the update! They look beautiful.

  12. #12
    Lovely, thank you Anne. =)



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  13. #13

    To “take up the mind” means to take up “one blade of grass” and construct a buddha, to take up “a tree without roots” and construct a sūtra.

    Dogen in Shobogenzo Hotsu Bodai Shin, Bringing Forth the Mind of Bodhi

    Dōgen’s frequent uses of the expression “one blade of grass” seem most often to reflect the story of the god Śakra creating a brahma-kṣetra (i.e., monastery) for the Buddha from a blade of grass. For the story, which may be particularly relevant in our context here, see, ... the Congrong lu 從容録, T.482004)230a4-6.

    Once, when the Bhagavat was walking with his assembly, he pointed at the ground and said, “This would be a good place to build a brahma-kṣetra.”
    King Śakra took a blade of grass, stuck it in the ground, and said, “The building of your brahma-kṣetra is finished.”
    The Bhagavat smiled.
    Gassho, J


  14. #14
    Its so beautiful Anne,

    thanks for the update. I love the photos on your web site - awesome part of the world.


    sat today

  15. #15
    Thank you for sharing this, Anne


    太 Tai (Great)
    陽 Yō (Sun)

  16. #16
    Thank you for sharing Anne, this is very beautiful.
    Sat Today
    柔 Jyū flexible
    活 Katsu energetic

  17. #17
    Thank you Anne. Wonderful.

    Sat today

    .......and the previous blog post...that sky.

  18. #18
    Wow - you artist types blow me away seriously. Anne -that is awesome.

    Sidenote -- I love New Mexico. It is so beautiful, and (my favorite) awesome food!



  19. #19
    Red or green?
    (NM food freaks know what that refers to!)
    This weekend is the beginning of the annual hot balloon festival here in albuquerque...800 balloons! Pretty amazing here in the land of enchantment.



  20. #20
    Hello everyone,

    Here are images from installation day to the final red stains.
    So long... 'grass books i-ix (Anitya series)



  21. #21
    That was fast. And soon enough.. not even a stain. Beautiful.

    Yesterday I was talking to my son about an old farmhouse that used to be on this street, and was torn down.
    People who lived here at the time saw the presence of the farmhouse while it stood.
    Then they could see the absence of the farm house when it was gone, the presence of an absence.
    People who arrived after the farmhouse was gone do not see a presence or an absence.

    The traces of the book brought that to mind. Soon enough there will be people walking by that spot who see no trace.

    Thank you Anne.


    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 12-02-2016 at 12:51 PM.

  22. #22
    DSC_0058.jpg my photo
    "As the Buddha designed it, the Sangha's responsibility is to keep their vows, learn and practice the Dharma, and teach and guide the lay people. The lay people in turn, provide the requisites for life..." So are not the lay people the Sangha? Thubten Chodron.

  23. #23
    I have been taking digital photos since 2003, and I would like to share beautiful photos with Treeleaf. I am finding here tools with which to begin doing this. Am I in the right place?

    Tai Shi
    "As the Buddha designed it, the Sangha's responsibility is to keep their vows, learn and practice the Dharma, and teach and guide the lay people. The lay people in turn, provide the requisites for life..." So are not the lay people the Sangha? Thubten Chodron.

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