Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Mandalas for a Time of Opening and Awakening

On Monday, June 8, 2020, DOEprojekts posted our 80th consecutive mandala (literally "circle") on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  All were created during New York City's quarantine (a.k.a. "stay-at-home" to avoid the novel corona virus, COVID19).  However, for our 80th mandala, our "tag line" changed from the previous seventy-nine; instead of "Mandalas for a Time of Quarantine," we posted "Mandalas for a Time of Opening and Awakening."   

We feel we have moved from a time of quarantine to a time of opening and awakening -- physically, socially, and hopefully spiritually.  There is a newly heightened awareness of how racism and income inequality has disproportionately endangered the lives of black and brown people, especially after the murder of George Floyd on Monday, May 25th, 2020.  We grieve such injustices -- and we strive to be even more conscious of large and small ways we can contribute to making a much more equitable and open world.   

We created our mandalas, in large part, to keep the wheels of our creativity greased and lubricated during quarantine. We were surprised and pleased that a select number of organizations asked us if they could link to, or showcase, our mandala series. 

The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (above) is the most recent; we hope you will read their website, not only for the link to our mandalas, but also for their many theater, music, and film events.  

Another organization that featured our mandalas for Mental Health Awareness Month is the Froedtert Hospital and its Medical College of Wisconsin.  Sarah Turner, a registered nurse at Froedtert, contacted us and asked permission to print out and post several of the mandalas on their community board. We were so very pleased to be asked, and of course, we granted permission. She sent us photos of the community boards -- positively eye-catching!



To our surprise, Nurse Turner also sent us a wonderful thank you letter signed by many of the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital! It is WE who should be thanking these hard-working and brave professionals during the COVID19 pandemic!

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) also featured our mandalas in their "Weekly Gifts from LMCC" (e-blasts). We are looking forward to working again with LMCC to complete our SU-CASA grant at Lenox Hill Community Center in Midtown Manhattan. Our "Let's Do Modern" workshops were put on hold in mid-March.







Lastly, the mandalas were mentioned in an interview that Deborah gave to award-winning photographer John Noltner for his ongoing podcast series titled "A Peace of My Mind: How Life Changed." John contacted Deborah after he saw her Facebook post with photos she took of an empty Manhattan, during her Citibike ride on April 8, 2020, not long after the quarantine began.




We are grateful to all who have shown interest in our DOEprojekts work during this time of COVID19. We look forward to creating more mandalas (and other projects) as the world moves forward into openness and greater awareness of how all of us are connected. We send healing energies to all of you!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Time and Place to Rest — Distant Socializing




Mandalas for a Time of Quarantine
A mandala -- literally "circle" -- offers viewers a place to "rest their eyes and minds."  Circles (zeros), are one of five coreforms of our DOEprojekts artistic practice. More about our coreforms may be found at this link.

Thus, during our present reality, during the time we are quarantined in our Manhattan apartment because of the rapid global spread of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), we have decided to create a series of mandalas. "Mandala" has become a somewhat generic term for a circular pattern indicating the transitory nature of the univers, but the practice originated as an aid to meditation.

Making mandalas, considering circles and zeros, is a way for us to focus, with resting eyes, on the transitory nature of materiality. 

We share with you, dear blog readers, our recent explorations of mandala-making; there will be more mandalas to come as we continue to post on Instagram and Facebook.

As a way to participate in "Distant Socializing," if you would like us to create or locate a mandala image for you, or a person or people you care about, we would be glad to do that as a gift, and send the image to you and/or your friend(s). It may take us a bit of time, but we will do it! Email us at DOEprojekts@gmail.com and tell us more about how you hope to use a mandala image, and for whom. We will reply by email and set a schedule.

Rest Installation, 2008

Contemplative circles and zeros have been a key form in past works. In 2008, shortly before we began to officially work together as DOEprojekts, Deborah was invited by curator Beth Shadur to participate in The Poetic Dialogue Project at the Chicago Cultural Center. Beth paired Deborah with poet Eloise Klein Healy, and the theme that emerged through their "dialogue" (which was done at a distance since Eloise lives in California) was "Rest." Here are photos from the Rest Installation, 2008. 






Below is Eloise's original poem written as part of the Poetic Dialogue Collaboration (and translated into four other languages that may be read by clicking here).

REST by Eloise Klein Healy

rest so solitary
an away
a sibilant quartet
of reedy winds blowing beyond and back
a want so solely more
than body need
touchpoint
intangible in the 
O  O  Overhang
of effort
to find it

We send healing energies to all of you! Keep in touch during this time of rest (and rest-less-ness).
Deborah and Glenn •  
DOEprojekts@gmail.com