Buddhist Paintings by Aloka - first time in book form
On Mon, 3 December, 2012 - 06:15
Lynne Beckley from Triratna’s Ipswich Buddhist Centre writes with news of probably the first-ever anthology of a Triratna artist - the amazing Aloka, whose giant paintings grace the central shrines of many of Triratna’s Buddhist Centres in the UK and beyond - and whose smaller works, painted by commission, adorn the shrines of many members of the Order. The handsome hardback book, simply named ‘Buddhist Paintings by Aloka’, contains 100 gorgeous pages of full-colour reproductions, many never seen in public before, and which, taken together, constitute a real contribution to Triratna’s work of “bringing Buddhism to the West”.
For Lynne, creating the book has been quite a journey. She describes it in her own words: “I was at an Ipswich centre women’s book group evening a year or two ago, and one of my friends happened to say she couldn’t connect with Buddhist images. It transpired she was referring purely to images coming over from the East, and that she had never seen Aloka’s work. I had only ever seen his ‘Five Buddha series’ at Vajrasana Retreat Centre, plus a couple of postcards - it struck me on the spot that here was something that should be addressed and that I could do it! I wrote to Aloka asking if he would mind me compiling a book and he was in agreement.
Initially, I had expected a small book of paintings from the centres, but as I sent out requests, not only was I stunned at the speed of the positive responses, but also the amazing offers of including private commissions. So then I extended my request further. Pictures came forth of Buddha Shakyamuni, all the well known (& some less well known) Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and teachers including Bhante Sangharakshita. It was a much bigger project than I’d expected and therefore took me twice as long as planned!
I am delighted to say that I have now completed the book, it is available at cost-price on the global publishing site www.blurb.com or www.blurb.co.uk. There is a foreword by Maitreyabandhu and also some writing by Aloka himself. I hope you enjoy seeing all these wonderful paintings together was much as I do.