The Zen of Life

Materials: teabags, Procion dyes, canvas, black Unryushi paper, coloured pencil 

Technique: shibri dyeing, calligraphy, sewing

Size: 50 x 40 x 4 cm

Description: The ritual of drinking tea and also the contemplation of the wonderful colours that surround us add spice to our lives – sometimes aiding relaxation and meditation, and at other times producing joy and excitement.

To symbolise these varying emotions, shibori-folded, Procion-dyed tea bags are collaged on canvas in a radiating spectrum of colour. 

Kanzashi flowers are glued on top. This Japanese folding technique exemplifies the Zen philosophy.

The ribbon of black Japanese Unryushi paper meanders across the collage with a trail of expressive words:

The ritual of drinking tea, whether sipped quietly in solitary reverie or shared in celebration with family and friends, invigorates the body, refreshes the spirit and calms the mind. Similarly colour weaves its magic spell as it meanders through the channels of our daily experiences, enlivening and enriching even the most mundane of routines and creating moments of joy and exuberance, interspersed and balanced with meditative interludes, creating much-needed balm for the soul. These varying emotional responses find full expression in the amazing multi-hued riot of colours found in the thousands of flower species and their symbolism and varying uses for every conceivable occasion.

Displayed at “Zen 10” at Warwick Art Gallery in 2014 (one of 10 invited artists).
Exhibited in “Into Paper” at Redcliffe City Art Gallery in 2014 and Gympie Regional Gallery and Gallery 159 in 2015, and printed in the catalogue.


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