The term mandala originates from the Sanskrit language, an ancient language in Hinduism. It means circle, the ideal form of the universe, and refers to the center of all creations. Mandalas are artworks combining geometric patterns and symbols creating a masterpiece of religious symbolism, prayer, meditation exercise, and a holy blessing within one design. Mandalas exhibit radial balance, in which the design begins with the center and radiates outward allowing the pattern to grow larger in different layers. Each mandala is significant in its own way and symbolic for varying reasons. However, each mandala is comprised of three basic layers:
Outer layer of the mandala represents the divine form of the universe.
Inner layer of the mandala represents a map to guide the mind to enlightenment
Central, or secret layer of the mandala represents a balance of body and mind infused with clarity using designs and/or symbolism known only between the artist and the creation itself.
Do Now; Mandalas
For this project, you are going to create a mandala using an animal. Animals are extremely symbolic in varying cultures and are also worshiped in some religions. For example, elephants are not just my favorite animal because they're cute, but because they symbolize power, dignity, intelligence, and peace. You are going to research an animal of choice, learn its symbolism, and the culture and/or religion it is symbolic to.
Based on your research, you will be designing a mandala using your chosen animal, symbols found in the culture and/or religion, and geometric shapes.
Be sure to: