To make art, or not to make art.......... for the Playa that is. With last year's trip "art-free", I think I'm starting to get the art itch again! The wheels, cogs and creative juices are starting to swirl and churn. I had the idea for building another prayer wheel after last year's Burning Man trip, and calling it "The Dream Wheel". With the announcement of this year's official theme of "The American Dream", it just seemed appropriate to dig out the concept sketches and notes and start the process of actually bringing the idea to manifestation and the Playa. I sat down this morning over espresso and eggs,and did a little sketching in the notebook. I think that a new plan and design is starting to come together.
This prayer wheel will definitely be a jump further away from the traditional Tibetan wheels and into the realm of true interactive art. What I'm envisioning is a smaller wheel, based on a five gallon oil or maple syrup drum, that will be mounted in or on, a frame that is a bit more "organic". Instead of having the traditional "Om Mani Padme Hum", symbols painted around it, I will start at the bottom of the wheel and start a long "sentence" of words like: love, hope, health, happiness, etc., written in all the languages of the world. This "sentence" will spiral around until it disappears into some painted clouds and sky. The clouds and sky will then blend into a darker layer of "the heavens", at the top of the drum. Mixed through this layer will be stars and heavenly bodies. Along the top of the drum, I'll have the "mail slots", just like the last one (for people to deposit their own written hopes, dreams and prayers). The prayer spool inside, will be wound with modern prayers and mantras of hope with sky and earth wheels painted with organic symbols and words....... it will definitely be constructed and will be in the same spirit of a traditional wheel, but will be of a more relevant, modern and artistic style.
The ideas are still forming and the sketches are ever changing, so it will be fun to see where this process ends up!
If anyone is interested in reading more about traditional Tibetan prayer wheels, I would highly recommend the book "Wheel Of Great Compassion" by Lorne Ladner. It is an amazing book that explores the history, lore and actual construction of these wheels and and how they fit into the Tibetan and the modern world.
Here's a picture of my prayer wheel that I took to Burning Man in 2005.
"The Wheel of Collective Consciousness"
I'll post more of my art musings and ideas on the project as the path unfolds.................. It's great to be back in the "art mode" again, no matter where it ends up taking me!