Flower Mandalas Project

This blog contains mandala-like images created from photographs of flowers. Suggestions for a complementary quote, a word that these mandala images evoke, or some history or other information about the flower itself are most welcome.

My personal motivation in creating these images was to heal from a decade of physical and emotional trauma, the consequence of a near-fatal event in Albany, New York, in1993. I began this project shortly after I bought my first digital camera and found myself shooting patterns of color and light, rather than the people and buildings I had shot in my black-and-white days. I learned to manipulate the images, hoping at first merely to improve them, but soon realizing that once an image file was on my hard drive, I could do anything I wanted with it.

I tend to work on several mandalas at once. On each piece, I spend anywhere from a few hours to a sequence of several-hour sessions spread out over a couple of months. The experience is reminiscent of meditation.

My choice of the hexagram (the Star of David, "beloved" in Hebrew) as the organizing shape for these mandalas was subconscious, but I believe this choice was no accident. In many traditions, the Star of David, composed of two overlapping triangles, represents the reconciliation of opposites — male/female, fire/water, and so on. Their combination symbolizes unity and harmony. Listening to what the mandalas were telling me led me out of a dark place and, indirectly, to my decision to become a psychotherapist.

Thanks for looking and for listening,
- David
© 2005, David J. Bookbinder

Comments

Anonymous said…
Absolutely fabulous. Keep posting the photos. Thank you for sharing.
Anonymous said…
Oh. My.

I take shots of my flowers all the time, I adore flower photographs. But these. Oh, these!

Please sign me up for a copy of the book!

Also: you should offer them as desktop pics.

Thank you for such beautiful images!

Wow.

Angela
http://misangela.com
Kristie said…
My first thought after viewing your beautiful flower mandala-like images was, "He left a clue in his last name as to further his purpose while persuing his passion."

Many blessings to you for seeing the beauty in the "Flower of Life."
Plato said…
I can relate in terms of the beauty that these flowers imagines evoke.

It's under the heading of Liminocentric structures.

If your interested let me know.
bumette said…
Who would have thought flowers could be more beautiful than they already are. Very nicely done sir.
Thank you.
Mark said…
Expressions of Beauty!
Anonymous said…
You are truly gifted. Peace and blessings to you.
Dana said…
Absolutely stunning. I am currently studying psychology and was drawn to Jung's theory and emphasis on mandalas. I was thinking of getting a mandala tattoo and spotted your work. Wondering if you have any shots of daisies or gerber daisies. Looking forward to your book, will visit the online store!!
Anonymous said…
I am over taken by the exquisite beauty of your images. Having looked at them just now my mind seems to be full of love and creative thoughts about culture and life and all there is!! Every image invokes a gesture, be it a human form shining out to the universe, couples cuddled together, angelic faces smiling upon each other. I also can't help but notice the sacred Star of David appearing in so many of the images. It is apparent that these healing images are meant to bring balance to those that observe them. As they show movement, like the merry-go-round of life, yet with a central focus of the yin/yang, male/female, which also spins to connect all from earth AND heaven.

Many Blessings -
Skyegoer
Anonymous said…
The pictures evoke a multitude of thoughts on the mysteries and exquisite beauty of nature and the universe. However, a book? The series of pictures soon blur and become repetitive without variation. Reminds me of too much George O'Keefe. Move back. Take profiles which can be juxtaposed, add foliage shots on the beauty of leaf veins, tie in tree bark, etc. Even a coffee-table book needs variety for consistent appreciation.
eva said…
Muy hermoso. gracias por compartirlo.
Anonymous said…
You are an amazing artist!! Don't change your style..it's perfect just the way it is!!
Anonymous said…
I've recently been focusing study on mandalas in order to create an "abundance" ritual for the informal women's group I hang out with. I first ran across them in my spiritual studies of Pagan, Native American and Buddhist philosophies. Recently excited to understand them to also be a part of Judeo-Christian heritage, having long been exiled from the Christian tradition I was born into…the Wisdom Jesus, Gnostics, Templars, Rosicrucians.
Perhaps around 2001 (?) attended a Jungian Mandala workshop lead by Susanne Fincher, who has written a text about Mandalas and offers 3 mandala coloring books. She is a psychotherapist and Art therapist and co-led the group with another Art therapist. I am an LCSW and left the conference with the intention of using the mandala as a journaling tool for myself and hopefully with clients. I did so a few times over the next 3 years.
It was not until the death of my 18 year old daughter by accidental drug overdose that I began an intimate healing process with drawing mandalas using colored pencils. It was a time when the words available in spoken language simply were not adequate. A single word or brief phrase would enter my mind and then I would draw out my feelings. It was healing. I am glad you found the mandala as well in your healing. You probably know this already, but therapists tend to come by their ‘trade’ with the realization that healing is possible due to their own healing process: the “Wounded Healer.”
Your mandala art speaks volumes, and it is healing to participate as the beholder. Flowers are part of nature’s mandalas, and your contribution by manifesting your own spirit through Her gift is indeed a gift to any who witness your work. I will go to cafĂ© press soon and see what is offered. I am also going to share your work with my friends.
Best wishes,
Rebecca
Anonymous said…
I just love the beauty of these pictures. I only wish I could frame large prints to adorn my home. They make me happy.
Elizabeth Dice said…
Your images are endlessly fascinating and beautiful. I can't choose a favorite, because I keep seeing another one I like.

I quilt, and one of my quilts is "mandala-ish." Your photos are an inspiration.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

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