About Suffolk Artist Zangmo Alexander
How to make visual our experiencing mind, with its awareness, perceptions, concepts, feelings, energy and essence, without recourse to illustration or representation?
A desire to understand who we are, the nature of reality and the cause of suffering have been questions in my mind since adolescence. Exploring mind through psychotherapy, art therapy, meditation (including seven years ordained as a Buddhist nun) and creative art practice have been a major part of my life’s journey. I am documenting this journey through writing and visual art practice, exhibiting as well as teaching art in educational environments and practicing as a Mindfulness Based Creativity Coach in private practice.
That our mind creates our reality is the teaching of many spiritual traditions and psychologies. “Know Thyself” is a seen as a key to enlightenment, self realisation and freedom from suffering in most spiritual traditions worldwide. If we want to understand reality from personal experience, one approach is to become more aware through meditation practice of how mind shapes our perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings including our sense of identity, self, and the grasping at “me” and “mine” which can lead to so much of the world’s suffering.
This investigation can lead not just to increased well being but a sense of returning to an inner home, resting in the aware, awake, loving, compassionate, wise and peaceful essence which we all naturally are, but don’t recognise.
My Art Work
Everything I make, whatever the media, deals with mind. I am interested in authenticity rather than originality or sensationalism. Prior to 2007, my work was influenced by Jungian psychology, art therapy, Indian art and the perennial philosophy. From 2007-2014 I was a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition.
I have several long term projects on the go in various art media. Often these art projects are autobiographical while also reflecting on universal themes.
Woman of a Certain Age is a series of art photographs reflecting on bodily impermanence and feelings of invisibility
The Hotel Project is a series of digital colour photographs exploring the transitory, illusory nature of life's journey
Black and White Luminograms made in a traditional darkroom without a camera - explore evanescent light, physical form and ambiguity, the unknowability of anything.
Celebrating the Dance of Maya: watercolour paintings, drawings, mixed media prints, playful abstractions expressing, and celebrating, the evanescent, spontaneous energy of movement - thoughts or feelings or perceptions in the moment
Image and text reflect on teachings by spiritual masters
Palimpsest (layers) contemplate layers of conditioned accumulation of thoughts, beliefs, solidified ideas and memory, which include oil and cold wax paintings about the settling of movement into spaciousness
My art work, including commissioned pieces, is in private collections in Europe and USA.
Art Teaching and Mindfulness Based Creativity Coaching
I hold a Masters degree in Fine Art, and am a qualified Art Teacher, Life Coach and a Mindfulness Based Creativity Coach and have been invited to give talks on art and meditation at conferences, courses, workshops, Channel 4 TV and have written a paper on Buddhism and the Arts for Arts Council England.
I run a Mindfulness Based Creativity Coaching practice in Suffolk, UK, offering highly personalised, one-to-one, confidential sessions to clients from all walks of life wanting support in freeing creative blocks, developing their creativity, self awareness and discovering their authenticity.