A Tale of Tibet
This collection is indebted to, and intended as a celebration of, the rich, multi-faceted and endlessly beautiful art and culture of Tibet. From stories of the mysterious kingdom of Zhangzhung (active from the Iron Age until the year 645), through animism, the Bon religion and ancient Buddhism, to the exquisite beliefs, tales, and creations of more modern times, I have been fortunate enough to study and discover just a little of the extraordinary creativity the culture of Tibet has to offer. I explored thousands of colourful, detailed mandalas and Thangka paintings, while also delving into the world of the deities and religions which inspired them. Every minute detail, gesture and composition within a Thangka holds a message and a meaning; a level to which I can only aspire to scratch the surface in my own works. I studied textiles and tiger rugs, architecture, sculpture, armour, and saddlery. I researched the traditional costume and jewellery of Tibet, hats, mechaks, ghau boxes and dzi beads, the materials used and the meanings behind them. I also explored animal symbolism within Tibetan culture, from ancient deities to the Jātaka stories. This collection is a culmination of my research combined with my own imagination, having been deeply and profoundly inspired by my studies.
It is a Tibetan custom to offer a khata (ཁ་བཏགས།) or ‘greeting scarf’ to friends, relatives or guests as a welcome gift or a wish of happiness.
‘Art finds its way to all surfaces of the Tibetan world … Tibetans create art to open windows from the coarse, ordinary world we know onto the extraordinary world of pure wisdom and compassion’ – Robert A. F. Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet.