Monday, September 17, 2012

Skywheel Over Sacred Mountains

Kim and Steve have been hard at work in the studio creating a series of mixed media drawings entitled Skywheel Over Sacred Mountains. When complete, these drawings will be featured in upcoming Skywheel Project exhibitions.

This series depicts the many spiritual traditions around the world by creating reverent portraits of mountains that are sacred to different cultures. The images of the mountains are paired with images of the night sky, and feature key constellations and stars that have cultural and spiritual significance to the peoples who inhabit the surrounding land.

I'd like to offer a glimpse into the Skywheel studio, with the first completed work in this series, Mount Fuji.

 Skywheel Over Mt. Fuji 

Mount Fuji is one of Japan's Three Holy Mountains and is the tallest mountain in the country. It has been regarded as a sacred site since ancient times, first to the Ainu, Japan's Indigenous people, and later as the home of Shintoist and Buddhist deities.

Today, it is a popular site for tourists and pilgrims alike, many of whom trek in the dark to experience the beauty of a glorious sunrise from the summit. A Japanese proverb asserts (not verbatim) that "You are a fool if you never climb Mt. Fuji, and an even bigger fool if you climb it more than once."

In this image, Mount Fuji is depicted with Zen Buddhist constellations. You may recognize part of the constellation Orion, which Zen Buddhists envision as a drum.

References and related sites of interest:
Sacred Mountains of the World, by Edwin Bernbaum

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