Altered Family Photo Album

This photo album was created by my dear grandad, Sydney. Being quite a character, and a Del Boy style one man band self employed, he had plenty of cash books, one of which doubles here as a photo album. In went the photos, stuck at the corners with sellotape. Nothing pretentious or arty farty here. Years later, as part of practising Tibetan Buddhism I was reflecting on the inevitability of impermanence, sickness, death and change in human experience. I was also studying the life and songs of the great yogi Milarepa.

As I found it difficult to reflect on these subjects outside of a meaningful context, I began reflecting on impermanence in my own family. That's when I started inserting Milarepa's songs about impermanence into my grandad's photo album. It really helped with my own meditation practice. In a sense it also connected with the practice in spiritual traditions of making art as a support for meditation. But instead of painting mandalas or thangkas I was using my actual experience and memory of family to create a meditation support. It added another dimension to the album.

ALTERED-BOOK-ZANGMO-ALEXANDER
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