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Two great new shows

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Elizabeth Thomson, Invitation to Openness — Substantive and Transitive States, 2014. Photo: Tom Hoyle

On the 3rd of September Whangarei Art Museum celebrates its 20th birthday

This is an occasion for festivity and a time for reflection on the successes and highlights of the last two decades as well as the future. How can WAM continue to grow and best serve the people and creative community of Whangarei? It seems only fitting that September is the month that the galleries at WAM find themselves dedicated to the contemplative, peaceful and serene by bringing you two new shows; Elizabeth Thomson’s Invitation to Openness – Substantive and Transitive States which comes to us from the Dowse Art Museum and Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala – A collaboration between Whangarei Art Museum and Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Whangarei.

In Elizabeth Thomson’s Invitation to Openness – Substantive and Transitive States WAM is proud to present one of Thomson’s most ambitious installations to date as it fills an entire gallery which will be will be adorned and quietly inhabited by hundreds of white moths which hover in the space as though having arrived of their own accord. Blending with the white walls, their camouflaged bodies gently fill the space, tentative in their willingness to be seen, appearing as if this is their natural habitat. This flock of moths invites you to step into the installation, be immersed and become a part of it. Invitation to Openness—Substantive and Transitive States is an invitation to suspend disbelief and preconception.

In Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala viewers will be given the opportunity to witness monks Ven. Geshe Jamyang Sherab and Ven. Karma Gyasey create an exquisite sand mandala over a period of two weeks. Both born in Tibet, they became refugees when choosing to leave their country and families in order to study at Sera Je Monastery in South India. Together they have created many sand mandalas within New Zealand.

A sand mandala is a two dimensional representation of an enlightened being’s place of residence and everything that is contained within it. The mandala is an expression of the state of complete enlightenment and is used as an aid to meditation. It is believed that just seeing a mandala creates a great store of positive energy and makes one’s mind peaceful and clear. Viewers will be able to expirence and mediatae upon the mandala from the 26th of September until the beginning of December when a dissolution ceremony will take place and the beautiful and fragile mandala, which is the result of many hours of careful work is ‘destroyed’ and poured into a river or the sea and offered to the nagas (water spirits): non-human beings who inhabit water and who are said to possess fabulous wealth.

Theses two experiential and reflective exhibitions will be accompanied by a selection from the WAM collection featuring works that integrates a myriad of spiritual representations. Artists include, Ralph Hotere, Adele Younghusband, A. Lois White, Ellie Smith and Laurence Aberhart.

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