“The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organisational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.” … Mandala Project http://www.mandalaproject.org/What/Index.html
We began this unit by reviewing symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial balance. The students then looked at my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/rjardin/mandalas/ and guessed what a Mandala was by viewing the images only. This was then supported with information from a brief slideshow which introduced the topic more thoroughly.
Mandalas are used in many cultures from India to North America to Tibet so we followed up with a brief group study incorporating 4 cultures who currently use Mandalas in their society. Through this study the students were able to discuss the similarities and differences between the design and purpose of mandalas across cultures.
Native American Mandalas
With all their new knowledge and understanding of mandalas the students were now ready to colour and create their own versions. We looked at 4 tutorials, practised in our books and on CDs before designing our final piece based on nature.
Once the mandalas are complete then the students will get into pairs. They will combine their designs and paint them onto umbrellas. I am looking forward to seeing the final results. I am sure the umbrellas will be stunning.