Limited Edition Giclee of 350
12 x 15 image size
Copyright 2012 Michael Carroll
*Please click on image for full view
Mandalas have been used in Buddhist meditation, prayer and ritual since at least the fifth century CE. They are considered sacred spaces, celestial maps pointing the way to enlightenment while illustrating various aspects of the Buddha’s teachings. Usually representing a specific Buddhist divinity as he or she relates to the Cosmos, they are not static icons to be venerated, as in portraits of Christian saints. Like a labyrinth, the mandala invites us on a voyage to completion: a multilayered pathway for meditation as we advance towards nirvana. Michael Carroll’s ENLIGHTENMENT is a new mandala; an original design based on the Eastern model, yet wholly Western in its conception, execution and purpose, as he explains:
“As a Celtic artist, I have naturally turned to the Celtic style for a framework to explore the Tibetan form, but it is the use of the mandala as a vehicle for personal growth that fascinates me. Visually, they guide us onto the path of inner peace and outer goodwill, the development of moral thinking and right actions, and ultimately to the contemplation of all reality. Researching the symbolism of the Buddhist mandala, I am repeatedly struck by the similarity of this journey to that of Western science and philosophy in the past two centuries. East and West, the seemingly opposite roads diverge, yet meet at the top in search of ultimate Truth and universal knowledge.
The traditional mandala’s underlying concept is the progression from spiritual darkness to light…how exhilarating, that this can be so naturally adapted to celebrate the journey of science and reason. In my own spiritual trek from Christianity to Buddhism to humanism, the philosophers of ancient Greece and the great thinkers of the Enlightenment have increasingly become my heroes. At risk of their very lives, they blazed the trail of democracy, human rights, rational inquiry and scientific experiment. So, in that spirit, here is a mandala both of enlightenment and of the Enlightenment: a modern cosmological “sacred space,” one dedicated to reason, liberty, freedom of thought and the advancement of all humanity. ENLIGHTENMENT is perhaps the most personal piece I have ever attempted, certainly the closest to my own heart and philosophy of life. I present it to the viewer in a positive spirit: an invitation to walk the path from contemplation to knowledge, much as a Tibetan mandala beckons us to enter its gates and approach the mystery of life and existence itself.”
PORTRAITS…L to R, top to bottom: Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, Sigmund Freud
UPPER FRIEZE…The Ancients: (L to R) Pliny the Elder, Anaxagoras, Confucius, Epicurus, the Buddha, Socrates, Wang C’hung, Democritus.
LOWER FRIEZE…Renaissance/Enlightenment to Present: (L to R) Bertrand Russell, Rene Descartes, Leonardo daVinci, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Nicholas Copernicus, David Hume, Don Cupitt.
ENLIGHTENMENT was executed in gouache paint on calfskin manuscript vellum, using hand-cut quill pens and extremely fine detail brushes. Now available as a fine art giclee print in a limited edition of 300, the artwork is professionally converted into a digital image to exactly match the original vellum page. Each individual print is inspected and then hand numbered and signed by the artist. They are accompanied by a description and a signed certificate of authenticity. The giclees are printed on heavyweight 100% cotton archival paper using highly lightfast pigmented inks rated to last 80 to 100 years.
Fine art giclee print
Limited Edition of 300
Numbered and signed by the artist