Biography and CV

Growing up in Hove, UK in a Jewish family, attending a Christian school and trying to make sense of several traumatic childhood experiences had the effect of stimulating a questioning spiritual search from the age of 11.  As a young adult I worked in a psychiatric hospital where I attended an inspiring staff art therapy group for six months. This led to art exhibitions and beginning to practise as a committed artist exploring the mind and inner experience as subject matter.

 

Seeing Mark Rothko's paintings at the Tate Modern and listening to Mahler's Resurrection Symphony conducted by Simon Rattle opened my mind to how the arts can reach beyond purely visual and aesthetic dimensions to be deeply transforming, healing, revealing, and spiritually awakening experiences. A new journey began exploring art, psychology and spirituality.

Studying BA Hons in Painting at Brighton University School of Art, I continued my spiritual search across world traditions, exploring Jewish Quabbalah, Hinduism, and esoteric Christianity, also travelling to India and Nepal. Deeply inspired by abstract expressionists Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock and Richard Pousette-Dart as well as Paul Klee, Bill Viola, Richard Tuttle and Kandinsky, my art work became abstract as I searched for ways to make visible experience beyond superficial physical appearance.

 

After completing my BA Hons, I was invited to show at the Fresh Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in London and to hold a solo exhibition at Horsham Arts Centre in the UK.  In addition to practising as an artist, I began formal Buddhist study and meditation, and qualified as a secondary school teacher and life coach.

For two years I also studied traditional Tibetan thangka painting with two nuns. Although a beautiful art form, I felt drawn to investigate ways of integrating meditation and fine art art practices in a secular contemporary western context. This led me to study for an Masters Degree in Fine Art, focusing on exploring ways of integrating art and meditation, creating a short video  'Letter to My Mum' for my final exhibition. Following this, I was an ordained Buddhist nun for seven years before returning to lay life.

Interest in my work led to being invited as a speaker by the Institute of Oriental Philosophy for their conference, Buddha Mind - Creative Mind? and Channel 4 TV 4Thought programme.

 

Dr Mick Collins also discussed my work in his book, The Unselfish Spirit, following seeing The Stripper, a one hour play about my life and work devised in collaboration with director Pema Clark, and performed at the University of East Anglia, UK.

​​

Deepening  explorations of mindfulness, meditation and art have led to recently receiving a MOFSA travel grant to the USA and a scholarship from Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts, USA to participate in their six month course Dharma and Art - A Practice of Investigating Perception which included two week-long residencies.

 

With the kind generosity of a further grant from MOFSA and Arts Council England,  I am currently developing a year-long project with the working title Awakening Through Creativity. This body of art work is intended for exhibiting in 2021 at Diss Corn Hall arts venue (pandemic permitting), where I will also run Mindful Art Workshops and give an artist's talk. In addition to exhibiting, the documentation from this project will form the basis for a course and a resource book on the practice of creativity as a support for meditation.

CV

Ed­u­ca­tion,
Pro­fes­sional Train­ing

  • Mas­ters De­gree Fine Art (Dis­tinc­tion), Nor­wich Uni­ver­sity of Arts

  • BA Hons Fine Art Paint­ing (2.1), commendation in Art History, Uni­ver­sity of Brighton

  • Diploma in Coach­ing (Dis­tinc­tion), UK Coach­ing Part­ner­ship

  • Post Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Ed­u­ca­tion, Uni­ver­sity of Cam­bridge
    (fully qualified art and photography teacher)

  • 7307 Fur­ther & Adult Teach­ing Cer­tifi­cate, Uni­ver­sity of Brighton

  • 8 week Mind­ful­ness Based Cog­ni­tive Ther­apy, Uni­ver­sity of Ban­gor

  • Mahamudra Med­i­ta­tion Courses/Retreats in Ti­betan Buddhist Kagyu Tra­di­tion

  • Dharma and Art, six month course, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, USA

Ex­hi­bi­tions

  • Transference, Halesworth Gallery, Suffolk

  • The Strip­per, (Col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pema Clark), Uni­ver­sity of East An­glia

  • Lu­mino­grams: Cam­era-less Pho­tog­ra­phy by Zangmo Alexan­der,
    Be­yond the Im­age Pho­tog­ra­phers Gallery

  • Work in Progress, Meet­ing House, Diss

  • Bud­dha Mind - Cre­ative Mind, Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Taplow Court

  • MFA Show, Fine Art, Norwich University of the Arts

  • Faith and the Arts Mul­ti­faith Art Ex­hi­bi­tion, Arts Council England

  • ‘Jour­neys’, Paint­ings and Prints, Harleston

  • ‘Lo­tus in Flower’, Cambridge

  • ‘Lyri­cal Ab­strac­tion’, Michaelhouse Gallery, Cam­bridge

  • John Innes Cen­tre, University of East Anglia, Norwich

  • Paintings by Zangmo Alexander, Hor­sham Arts Cen­tre

  • Norfolk and Norwich Open Studio

  • Suffolk Open Studio

  • Brighton Art Fair

  • Fresh Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Lon­don

  • BA Fine Art Show, Brighton School of Art, University of Brighton Art Gallery

  • Brighton Li­brary

  • Brighton Cen­tre

  • Bond Street Gallery

  • East­bourne Li­brary

  • Fox’s Gallery, Lon­don

  • The Ar­t­house, Leeds

 

Awards, Scholarships, Residencies

  • 2020: Arts Council England Award

  • 2019-2020: MOFSA project development grant

  • 2018: MOFSA travel grant UK to USA

  • 2018-2019: Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies Scholarship for Dharma and Art course, Massachusetts USA

  • 2018-2019: Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies Scholarship for two residencies, USA

  • DEFRA award for website design, equipment purchase

  • South Norfolk Council award for business development

  • Norfolk Visual Art Fund Award for community art workshop development​​

 

In­vited Speaker and Pa­pers

  • 4Thought, Chan­nel 4 Television Broadcast: Can Art Make You Be­lieve? talk

  • Bud­dha Mind - Cre­ative Mind Con­fer­ence:  Art and Meditation Practice talk

  • Bud­dhism and the Artscommissioned paper for arts organisations on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Art and Bud­dhism for Arts Coun­cil England

Publication

  • Alexander, L., (2009), Women’s Wisdom: Natural Wellness Strategies for the Menopause Years (Findhorn)

  • Collins, Mick, (2014), The Unselfish Spirit: Human Evolution in a Time of Global Crisis, Hampshire: Permanent Publications

  • March 2020, Leaping Clear online journal
    https://www.leapingclear.org/zangmo-alexander-video

 

Work in Col­lec­tions, Residencies

  • Dharma and Art Course, two residencies, Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies, USA

  • ​Imperial Health Charity Art Collection

  • Pri­vate Col­lec­tions USA and Eu­rope

  • Artist in Residence, Michelham Priory, Sussex

Work Experience

  • Painter, Photographer, Mixed Media Artist in studio practice since 1991, UK

  • Mindful Creativity Coach, pri­vate prac­tice

  • Meditation Teacher, private practice

  • Art and Photography Teacher, one-to-one and group, private practice and schools

  • GCSE and A Level Art and Pho­tog­ra­phy Tu­tor, private practice

  • Director of Full Moon Images, publishing art prints

  • Director of Rainbow Arts, offering Art, Craft and Pho­tog­ra­phy for hard to reach mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, the el­derly, men­tal health, so­cial ser­vices staff, women's groups, chil­dren's hol­i­day work­shops

  • Vis­it­ing Lec­turer in Paint­ing, Brighton Uni­ver­sity at East­bourne Col­lege of Art and Technology

  • Cre­ative Stud­ies Lec­turer, East­bourne Col­lege of Art and Technology

  • Art Cer­tifi­cate Lec­turer, Brighton Uni­ver­sity

  • Fa­cil­i­ta­tor of women's art groups for self aware­ness, per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, self ex­pres­sion and stress man­age­ment

  • Re­spon­si­bil­ity for en­tire Art and De­sign Tech­nol­ogy Cur­ricu­lum, pri­mary school Nor­folk​

Per­sonal De­vel­op­ment | CPD

  • Back to Be­gin­nings, Tara Rokpa

  • Bioen­er­get­ics Ther­apy, Brighton

  • Spir­i­tual Psy­chother­apy, Tun­bridge Wells

  • Per­sonal Jungian Art Ther­apy and Psy­chother­apy

  • Reg­u­lar med­i­ta­tion courses and re­treats 

  • 2007-2014: Or­di­na­tion as a nun in the Ti­betan Bud­dhist tra­di­tion

  • Art and meditation short courses

alexanderzangmo@googlemail.com | 044 (0) 1379 897393 | Studio: Botesdale, UK

All rights reserved. Site copyright Zangmo Alexander 2020