support our work:meet the team!
Five friends and artists who all go to the Wellington Buddhist Centre in New Zealand have just been having their second exhibition together. The artists are: Kathleen Beeler, Amalaratna, David Litchfield, Anne Munz and Achalamuni (Donald Woolford).
The name they have used for their exhibition, Dharma-Rama, is a made up one.
Achalamuni explains the origin of the name and the significance of working together: “‘Dharma’ is obvious, but the ‘Rama’ part comes not from Pali or Sanskrit but from words such as panorama and has the sense of surrounding. And the two words sounded good together.
We are a diverse group of people who use different art media and styles and whose work in this exhibition looks very different, but we are all united in a common commitment to spiritual practice and the support of one another through the Wellington Buddhist Centre.
Working together as a group for the exhibition is certainly an opportunity to practice friendship. There are numerous questions to be worked through – who should have which areas in the gallery, what publicity is needed, and what costs we can afford. But although we have our own separate spaces in the gallery for our art, we worked together to help each other set up, from hanging the art to printing the labels.”
Here they each describe their art and its connection with their Buddhist practice:
“My Buddhist practice of awareness involves being open to how my art will turn out and not trying to force the outcome. I maintain equanimity if the painting process doesn’t go as hoped and I just start again with a new version if necessary.” - Amalaratna
“I have tried to create lines that don’t have obvious shapes or regular patterns. I have also tried to escape from repetitive patterns and marks, and to be creative rather than reactive.” - Achalamuni
“I try to use my art to open myself to the world and to try to shape how I deal with it.” - David
“Sometimes when I am taking a photograph or filming, I enter a state of dhyana. When I look through the lens, I enter another world. I appreciate Triratna because it includes the arts in practice.” - Kathleen
“I have painted in oils all my life; but since I became a Buddhist I have felt a serenity which I hope is reflected in my art.” - Anne
The Wellington Buddhist Centre have just launched a new blog on The Buddhist Centre Online!