A couple of years ago I was working on my design thesis when I started looking at how I’ve lost the concept of play. How I was limiting my creative work because I was so focused on the outcomes. I wasn’t creating to be creative, I was creating to work. Or worse, I was creating to “share” or for the “likes”. And so I started making. With whatever was around me. With materials that were found in nature, and with objects that I loved. That had meaning. Stories. And from there, a whole new world started to open for me. I started to look at things I saw every day with an entirely new set of eyes. I started to look at all the details that I somehow missed. And I turned off my phone. There was quiet. Not just in my surroundings, but in my mind. I had discovered a sense of play, of fun, and also a little inner peace.
What I had learned was that I had discovered something very old. It’s called a mandala, and they’re shapes that are made up of sacred geometry as the foundation. Mandalas are a spiritual and ritual symbol found in many cultures, employed for focusing the attention of practitioners as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation. I was making them with pen, ink, brushes, and whatever I could get my hands on. But what changed for me was when I started using three dimensional materials. Especially organic materials.
The colors found in nature, the textures, and the unexpected layers of a single flower became a source for unlimited potential. De-constructing and layering of multiple materials I would find on a hike, I found myself slowing down and observing. Of wanting to touch and smell and know about the new things I was constantly discovering.
And the curiosity. It was endless. Not just in the making, but in the practice of meditation and mindfulness. Of what it means to be more aware. Once you open that door, it’s hard to close it.
Over the years I combined my curiosity of flowers and nature, sacred geometry, objects as artifacts, anthropology, photography, art and design into unalome bloom.