For Strand Ephemera this year, I’ve been invited to help artist, Helena Rador-Gibson (Member of Umbrella Studio) to take part in her Zen Garden performance piece by doing live raking for public viewing. It’s been quite fun, Helena does calligraphy while I rake the sand, dressed in the Japanese festival coat: Happi. There’s also a kimono girl who dongs a bell as the performers bow to each other, and then to the audience.
It’s quite relaxing really. When you’re raking, you have to concentrate on where you’re walking, so you don’t leave footprints on the flat, tidy sand. So your mind becomes totally clear of absolutely everything else that’s going on. It’s very ZEN. I’m fond of Japan, and buddhism, so this was such a great thing to be a part of, and everyone loved my patterns too. Also, on the day of judging, I dedicated my raking to Josh Barnes, a work friend of mine who died recently. The sand patterns are as beautiful as his life, but also do not last. The lesson of impermanence.
Take a look at some of the photos below. Thanks Helena for inviting me to be a part of it!