A review of Tendrel—An Exhibition by Artists Who Are Inspired by the Lifework of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
|Tendrel Opening at Tibet House|
On 15th street in Manhattan a woman stands stooped over a circular mirror on the ground. She places flower petals around the mirror; a mandala is taking shape on the floor of the Tibet House gallery. Chrysanne Stathacos is building a rose mandala as part of the art exhibition, Tendrel Interconnections.
Tendrel is a group exhibition by artists who are linked to, and inspired by the life work of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. Jetsunma is the founder of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in North India and spiritual advisor of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiatives (DGLI) which is a charity founded to help female monastic communities. Jetsunma is also the president of Sakyadhita International.
|Rose Mandala by Chrysanne Stathacos|
The Rose Mandala by Chrysanne Stathacos symbolizes the impermanence of even an object of beauty, wherein a delicately and laboriously laid out pattern of exquisite rose petals is erased after a while. The Rose Mandala could also be said to represent the potential for the transformation of the profane into profound imagery reflective of the transformation of ordinary and mundane human beings into dedicated strivers (sramanikas). This could be analogous to the charitable mission of DGLI which is dedicated to the transforming ordinary young women into dedicated monastics.
|Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo|
at Tendrel Opening
Caterina De Re worked as an English teacher to some of the first nuns coming to Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery from Ladahk, North India. In Tendrel she exhibits stunning ethnographic photographs of rarely captured Tibetan yogis, yoginis, and pilgrims taken from her Tibetan pilgrimages. Her work comments on the intergenerational changes taking place in Tibet.
|Tendrel Interconnections Art Exhibit|
Another Tendrel artist is Tsunma Jamyang Donma, a Canadian female monastic. Tsunma Jamyang Donma trained in traditional stain glass artistry. Later she became fascinated by traditional Tibetan Thangka painting and studied it for ten years. A goal in her work is to give people a direct experience with the sacred through light. Tsunma Jamyang Donma was also asked by Jetsunma to make windows for the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery temple.
|Tsunma Jamyang Donma and Jetsunma|
|Jetsunma and Painter Mary DeVincentis|
Tendrel Interconnections is on exhibit until March 1st at Tibet House in New York.
Please read more about the exhibition and each artist here: http://www.tibethouse.us/art-gallery/current-exhibition
Harsha Menon is a writer and documentary filmmaker.
Photos by Caterina De Re.