Contemporary Mandalas: Focused, Deliberate & Curative in Practice

November 16, 2024 - January 4, 2025
Kathy Furze-Spencer

Mandala in Hindu and Buddhist traditions is a symbolic diagram used in the performance of sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation. The mandala is basically a representation of the universe, a consecrated area that serves as a receptacle for the gods and as a collection point of universal forces. Man, by mentally “entering” the mandala and “proceeding” toward its center, is by analogy, guided through the cosmic processes of disintegration and reintegration. Mandalas are also therapeutic art forms, not only for the creator of the piece, but for those who gaze into and immerse themselves into the design.

Many contemporary mandalas are created using the dot painting technique. Dot painting is a product of traditional Indigenous Australian art meeting modern western culture. When searching for a meaningful self-care discipline outside the standards, I was drawn to something in the art world, regressing back to my youth when art was carefree and not intimidating, something that was habitual and joyful. At the recommendation of an accomplished artist friend, she encouraged me to take lessons.

Beginning the lessons at a rudimentary level, something in me was awakened from long ago and sparked a creative fire that is yet to be extinguished. What began as very simple circles has evolved into more complex designs, more colorful representation. The creation of each mandala for me can be likened to reading a really good book; you hate to see it end but know that you can revisit it any time. The creation becomes deeply personal and intimate, with emotions ebbing and flowing with every placement of shape and color.

— Kathy Furze-Spencer

About the Artist:

Kathy Furze-Spencer grew up in Somerset and has called Dighton her home with husband Jimmy for 34 years. Never formally trained in art, her earliest thoughts of design were when she began gardening at age 13 as a way to bring beauty and structure to a life that suddenly became unbalanced. Color, texture, fragrance, and flavor; tactile, kinesthetic, and sensory – these are the qualities Kathy is drawn to, not only in creating art but professionally, as well.

A nationally certified, licensed massage therapist for 30 years, Kathy is the owner/operator of Spencer Muscular Therapy in Dighton. From 2009 to 2016 she worked as an Admin Assistant at Narrows Center for the Arts where she was fortunate and grateful to develop her love of art and deep connection to music, both saviors in her early formative years.

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