New Zealand Photography and Mandala Art
Date: Oct 6 – Oct 19Space: Main Gallery
Portals is an art exhibition exploring tunnels, pathways & gateways into other worlds, through the lens of the photographer and the eye of the artist. Mostly New Zealand photography and mandala art, the works in this show will draw your attention in and through the other side into new dimensions. Tiny and beautiful details of nature are magnified. Reflections, shapes and colours are accentuated to reveal an alternative perspective on what ‘is’.
Sarah Beale and Alex Feasey are lens-happy nature photographers who simply adore getting out on walks and capturing the magic of the natural world. Sarah Beale is also a painter, creating mandala works of stunning vibrancy to thrill the eye.
“Often we are so absorbed in our own minds, the ceaseless torrent of thoughts, insecurities, attitudes and stories, that all the richness of the world around is obscured. I have found that when I walk in nature, often that inner haze can be pierced. I might suddenly become aware of the most magnificent sunset that I have ever seen, or notice the graceful and subtle ripples left in the sand when the tide recedes, a unique pattern never to be repeated. In these moments I feel the connection with the majestic world that exists just beyond the chatter of my daily mind. The simple act of noticing these moments transforms my experience to a fuller, richer and less egocentric awareness.
My work is to show natural settings or objects, seeing them as portals to the real, mysterious world beyond our fixed mind. I show pathways leading beyond the borders of our ordinary experience, sometimes altering the pictures in a way to stimulate a sense of adventure into the unknown, the unfamiliar and the mystical. I use transition points in the natural world, either landscapes or objects, taken at a certain angle or perspective to provide an opportunity to question our attitudes, stories and fears and how we identify ourselves, and to examine our connection to the awesome grandeur or detail in miniature that we observe arounds us.
I have been fascinated by photography of the natural world for most of my life and an avid explorer of natural settings but only in recent years have I begun exhibiting my work.”
“I have always been drawn to colour and geometric shapes, especially patterns and fractals found in nature. It started when I was a young girl, instead of using my math book for numbers, I’d use it for colouring in and being creative. The grid lines were an invitation to create bright patterns and artwork. I have always followed by heart, and listened to what calls me, because to not do so would be painful. So I began with colourful squares and painted pixelated images inspired by nature and fantasy realms. My first exhibition was called Fascination & Pix-elation held on K’rd in 2012 and it was a stepping stone into greater possibility. From there I started exhibiting my work every year and this motivates me to keep up the work, to keep painting and working towards something big.
Along the way I have been inspired by my artist mother Alexandra Heyes, mandala artist friends such as Bronte Byrd and Samantha Hepburn, as well as super-psychedelic artists such as Alex Grey.
I love images that draw the eye right into the centre, capturing the viewer’s full awareness in a trance. The act of creating mandalas is a meditation as it requires focus and presence. I do this because I find it healing and soothing. I want to offer a sense of peace and wonder to people who come to see my work.
The same meditative quality I also find in photography. It keeps you in the ‘Here and Now’.
When out in nature, on walks, I have the impulse to photograph the very small, the details, the crunchy leaves, the crusty tree logs, capturing light and texture.”