Para Vach  crystal 28 x 20 x 20 cm edition of 12  Para Vach, one of the most ancient goddesses of India, is prominent in the Vedas and was once worshipped all across India and Nepal. She is the lineage deity, and supreme goddess of the Trika tradition of Tantric Śaivism also referred to as Kashmir Shaivism. The valley of Kashmir was once the epicenter of the tradition. Kashmir was conquered during the 13th to 15th century, leading to the decline of this tradition and the destruction of its artwork. Even though the tradition has been through a long process of attrition since then, and almost died out, it’s teachings, practices and philosophy were passed on from guru to disciple through the ages and the last Kashmiri guru associated with this goddess transmitted the tradition to a few Westerners as well as Indians in the decades before his death in 1992. The tradition barely made it through into the 20th Century, and is now being revived by handful of Western scholars and spiritual teachers.   Photograph taken by Kalyanirupa during puja at the home of Mark S.G. Dyczkowski in Varanasi, India.

Para Vach
crystal
28 x 20 x 20 cm
edition of 12

Para Vach, one of the most ancient goddesses of India, is prominent in the Vedas and was once worshipped all across India and Nepal. She is the lineage deity, and supreme goddess of the Trika tradition of Tantric Śaivism also referred to as Kashmir Shaivism. The valley of Kashmir was once the epicenter of the tradition. Kashmir was conquered during the 13th to 15th century, leading to the decline of this tradition and the destruction of its artwork. Even though the tradition has been through a long process of attrition since then, and almost died out, it’s teachings, practices and philosophy were passed on from guru to disciple through the ages and the last Kashmiri guru associated with this goddess transmitted the tradition to a few Westerners as well as Indians in the decades before his death in 1992. The tradition barely made it through into the 20th Century, and is now being revived by handful of Western scholars and spiritual teachers.

Photograph taken by Kalyanirupa during puja at the home of Mark S.G. Dyczkowski in Varanasi, India.

 Para Vach crystal 28 x 20 x 20 cm edition of 12  ”Para (the Supreme)…benevolent and beautiful, white as moonlight, pouring forth the nectar which nourishes the universe” ~ Abhinavagupta  The sculpture is made from laser etched crystal. The form was sculpted using a 3d modeling program. The 3d model's surface was then converted into billions of tiny points, and a laser was used to send beams of light to each of these points. At the focal point of each beam of light a tiny vacuum occlusion in the crystal is created and her form becomes visible when light from the outside refracts through these occlusions.

Para Vach
crystal
28 x 20 x 20 cm
edition of 12

”Para (the Supreme)…benevolent and beautiful, white as moonlight, pouring forth the nectar which nourishes the universe”
~ Abhinavagupta

The sculpture is made from laser etched crystal. The form was sculpted using a 3d modeling program. The 3d model's surface was then converted into billions of tiny points, and a laser was used to send beams of light to each of these points. At the focal point of each beam of light a tiny vacuum occlusion in the crystal is created and her form becomes visible when light from the outside refracts through these occlusions.

  Para Vach  crystal 28 x 20 x 20 cm edition of 12   ”She is light itself and transcendent. Emanating from Her body are rays in thousands - two thousand, a hundred thousand, tens of millions, a hundred million - there is no counting their numbers. It is by and through Her that all things moving and motionless shine. It is by the light of this Devi that all things become manifest.” ~ Bhairava Yamala

Para Vach
crystal
28 x 20 x 20 cm
edition of 12


”She is light itself and transcendent.
Emanating from Her body are rays in thousands -
two thousand, a hundred thousand,
tens of millions, a hundred million -
there is no counting their numbers.
It is by and through Her that all things moving and motionless shine.
It is by the light of this Devi that all things become manifest.”
~ Bhairava Yamala

  Parapara, Para, Apara  gold each 19 x 17 x 17 cm  From Parā Devī emanates all three of the Trika goddesses. They are the powers of Willing, Knowing and Action.  ”The goddesses of the Trika symbolise universal forces of reality itself. They may be cloaked in apparently Hindu terminology and iconography, but in truth these potencies of reality are not limited by culture. The teachings about consciousness embodied in these forms are not specific and limited to Hindus or Indians. They are not bound by any such cultural limitations. They are revelations born of yogic experimentation, inspired perception of the all-embracing fabric of reality itself and of it's universal functionality. Therefore the process of engaging with this tradition has nothing to do with the religion of hinduism, or any sort of external conventional practice of any religion whatsoever, it is more akin to a scientific theory on the basis of which we then build profound practical applications. The most profound practical application of Tantra recognises that by aligning our individuality with the autonomous, free, self-guiding and self regulating nature of consciousness, a higher functioning begins to take place within us.” ~ Paul Muller-Ortega

Parapara, Para, Apara
gold
each 19 x 17 x 17 cm

From Parā Devī emanates all three of the Trika goddesses. They are the powers of Willing, Knowing and Action.

”The goddesses of the Trika symbolise universal forces of reality itself. They may be cloaked in apparently Hindu terminology and iconography, but in truth these potencies of reality are not limited by culture. The teachings about consciousness embodied in these forms are not specific and limited to Hindus or Indians. They are not bound by any such cultural limitations. They are revelations born of yogic experimentation, inspired perception of the all-embracing fabric of reality itself and of it's universal functionality. Therefore the process of engaging with this tradition has nothing to do with the religion of hinduism, or any sort of external conventional practice of any religion whatsoever, it is more akin to a scientific theory on the basis of which we then build profound practical applications. The most profound practical application of Tantra recognises that by aligning our individuality with the autonomous, free, self-guiding and self regulating nature of consciousness, a higher functioning begins to take place within us.”
~ Paul Muller-Ortega


  Para  gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm  "She is the primordial Word, the very essence of the highest reality, pervading all things and eternally in creative motion: She is simply luminous pure consciousness, vibrating with the greatest subtlety as the ground of all being" ~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

Para
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

"She is the primordial Word, the very essence of the highest reality, pervading all things and eternally in creative motion: She is simply luminous pure consciousness, vibrating with the greatest subtlety as the ground of all being"
~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

  Parapara  gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm  ”…playful like a streak of lightning in a sky dense with monsoon clouds” ~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

Parapara
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

”…playful like a streak of lightning in a sky dense with monsoon clouds”
~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

  Apara  gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm  “Like blazing fire, garlanded with skulls, with three glowing eyes, carrying the Kapalika’s trident-topped skull staff (khatvangah), seated on a corspe, with a tongue that flashes like lightening, huge bodied, adorned with serpents, gaping-mouthed, revealing great fangs, staring ferociously with puckered eyebrows, decked with a garland of corspes, ears adorned with severed human hands, thundering like the clouds of the final cataclysm, seeming to swallow the sky.” ~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

Apara
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

“Like blazing fire, garlanded with skulls, with three glowing eyes, carrying the Kapalika’s trident-topped skull staff (khatvangah), seated on a corspe, with a tongue that flashes like lightening, huge bodied, adorned with serpents, gaping-mouthed, revealing great fangs, staring ferociously with puckered eyebrows, decked with a garland of corspes, ears adorned with severed human hands, thundering like the clouds of the final cataclysm, seeming to swallow the sky.”
~ Abhinavagupta (trans. Alexis Sanderson)

  Apara  (close-up) gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm

Apara (close-up)
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

  Parapara  (close-up) gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm

Parapara (close-up)
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

  Para  (close-up)   gold 19 x 17 x 17 cm

Para (close-up)
gold
19 x 17 x 17 cm

  Matsyendranath  gold 19 x 12 x 7 cm edition of 108   Who is Matsyendranath?   Despite the tantamount significance of Matsyendranath in the history of Yoga, surprisingly few sculptures of him still exist and little is commonly known about him today. Matsyendranath was THE great guru of Śaiva Tantra, said to have been taught the secrets of Yoga from Lord Shiva himself. Abhinavagupta, the ancient eminent scholar/yogin of Kashmir, in his most significant written work the "Tantraloka" (the light of Tantra), honours Matsyendranath as ‘The Father of Yoga’. Matsyendranath is mentioned by the author of the Hatha Yoga Praditpika, Yogi Swaatmarama, as one of the Great Siddhas, who destroyed the hold of the time through the power of Hatha Yoga, and became able to traverse the Universe at will.

Matsyendranath
gold
19 x 12 x 7 cm
edition of 108

Who is Matsyendranath?

Despite the tantamount significance of Matsyendranath in the history of Yoga, surprisingly few sculptures of him still exist and little is commonly known about him today. Matsyendranath was THE great guru of Śaiva Tantra, said to have been taught the secrets of Yoga from Lord Shiva himself. Abhinavagupta, the ancient eminent scholar/yogin of Kashmir, in his most significant written work the "Tantraloka" (the light of Tantra), honours Matsyendranath as ‘The Father of Yoga’. Matsyendranath is mentioned by the author of the Hatha Yoga Praditpika, Yogi Swaatmarama, as one of the Great Siddhas, who destroyed the hold of the time through the power of Hatha Yoga, and became able to traverse the Universe at will.

  Matsyendranath  gold 19 x 12 x 7 cm edition of 108   The Story of Matseyndranath   The oldest written record of the life story of Matseyndranath is found in the Ancient text called the Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti ('The Life Stories of the Eighty Four Siddhas') by Abhaya Datta. The text below is the translation from Hindi made by Yoga Nath.  Guru Matseyndranath was born in the Eastern India and was a fisherman by caste. His Guru was Mahadeva (Shiva), who blessed him with mundane siddhis (powers).  At some distance from Kamarupa (modern Assam), there was an ocean, Ita by name (modern Bengal Bay). Fishermen who lived there, were catching the fish from the ocean daily, and selling it at the local market. One day, one of the fishermen fitted a hook into the net made of cotton, fixed a peace of meat on it and cast the net into the ocean. A very huge fish entered it. When the fisherman tried to draw it out of the ocean, he was not able to; instead the fish dragged him deep into water, until he finally sunk down. Then the fish swallowed him, but miraculously he, protected by his (good) karma, didn’t die.  About the same time, Uma Devi asked from Mahadeva (Shiva) to narrate her lessons of Dharma, to which he answered that his teaching was very secret, and not for just anybody, ‘You make a house deep into the ocean (where nobody will listen us), then I will initiate you there,’ he told her. Uma Devi did this, and after they both reached there, Shiva started narrating his lesson. While he was speaking, the fish (the same fish that swallowed the fisherman) swam by and and stopped right beneath the underwater ocean house that Uma and Shiva were sitting in. Shiva had not finished his lesson yet, but Uma became overpowered by sleep. Shiva continued narrating and from time to time he was asking her, “Do you understand what I am saying?’ And it was the fisherman, who while listening (from the stomach of the fish), was answering, ‘Yes, I understand.’  When Mahadeva completed his lessons of Dharma, Uma Devi awakened from her sleep, and started to say, ‘Now you please continue.’  Mahadeva answered, ‘I finished the lesson, what else do you want to know?’  To which Uma confessed, ‘I was listening up until some moment, but then I fell asleep...’  Puzzled Mahadeva has asked her, “Then who was saying, ‘Yes I understood?’ ”  Uma answered, ‘it was not me!’  When Mahadeva then applied his yogic vision, he saw that a man who was inside the stomach of the fish under the house they were sitting in had listened to all whole Teaching, from beginning till end. He thought, ‘Now he has become my disciple. But he will have to wait, till his time has come.’ So he initiated the fisherman, and ordered him to practice the sadhana he taught him while remaining inside the fish, and he declared him as his disciple. For twelve long years the fisherman practiced his sadhana, sitting inside the fish.  One day at the place called Shree Tapri, other fishermen caught that big fish and dragged it out of the water. Seeing its unusual heaviness, they thought that it might have in its stomach some gold or silver. They took it out of the water, cut open her belly, and saw a man sitting there. Totally shocked by this, the fisherman asked him, ‘Who you are?’ And was answered, ‘I was a fisherman like you. At the time of the ruling of the King Amuk, this fish dragged me into the ocean and swallowed me afterwards.’  When people gathered to see him and calculated the time that had elapsed since that moment they found that twelve years had passed by. Everyone was greatly astonished to see this wonderful event. Since that moment, he became famous and known as Matsyendranath.  The people started to praise him, and he immediately started dancing. As he danced, his feet entered deep into the earth, as if it was wet. When he continued his dance on a big stone, his feet entered deep into it, as if it was wet and soft mud. All around people were amazed to see this miracle. On seeing their astonishment, Matsyendranath sang:  ‘Because of previously accumulated good karma And as the power of chanting the Sacred Mantra I have got these wonderful qualities, Hey ho, my Mind Jewel!'  He then spent five hundred years performing various deeds to uplift humanity. Minapa, Vajrapada and Achintapa (Achintya), these are three names under which he became famous in different places. At first he got mundane Siddhis (supernatural powers), but later he entered the True Path and became dissolved into the Eternal Void.

Matsyendranath
gold
19 x 12 x 7 cm
edition of 108

The Story of Matseyndranath

The oldest written record of the life story of Matseyndranath is found in the Ancient text called the Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti ('The Life Stories of the Eighty Four Siddhas') by Abhaya Datta. The text below is the translation from Hindi made by Yoga Nath.

Guru Matseyndranath was born in the Eastern India and was a fisherman by caste. His Guru was Mahadeva (Shiva), who blessed him with mundane siddhis (powers).

At some distance from Kamarupa (modern Assam), there was an ocean, Ita by name (modern Bengal Bay). Fishermen who lived there, were catching the fish from the ocean daily, and selling it at the local market. One day, one of the fishermen fitted a hook into the net made of cotton, fixed a peace of meat on it and cast the net into the ocean. A very huge fish entered it. When the fisherman tried to draw it out of the ocean, he was not able to; instead the fish dragged him deep into water, until he finally sunk down. Then the fish swallowed him, but miraculously he, protected by his (good) karma, didn’t die.

About the same time, Uma Devi asked from Mahadeva (Shiva) to narrate her lessons of Dharma, to which he answered that his teaching was very secret, and not for just anybody, ‘You make a house deep into the ocean (where nobody will listen us), then I will initiate you there,’ he told her. Uma Devi did this, and after they both reached there, Shiva started narrating his lesson. While he was speaking, the fish (the same fish that swallowed the fisherman) swam by and and stopped right beneath the underwater ocean house that Uma and Shiva were sitting in. Shiva had not finished his lesson yet, but Uma became overpowered by sleep. Shiva continued narrating and from time to time he was asking her, “Do you understand what I am saying?’ And it was the fisherman, who while listening (from the stomach of the fish), was answering, ‘Yes, I understand.’

When Mahadeva completed his lessons of Dharma, Uma Devi awakened from her sleep, and started to say, ‘Now you please continue.’

Mahadeva answered, ‘I finished the lesson, what else do you want to know?’

To which Uma confessed, ‘I was listening up until some moment, but then I fell asleep...’

Puzzled Mahadeva has asked her, “Then who was saying, ‘Yes I understood?’ ”

Uma answered, ‘it was not me!’

When Mahadeva then applied his yogic vision, he saw that a man who was inside the stomach of the fish under the house they were sitting in had listened to all whole Teaching, from beginning till end. He thought, ‘Now he has become my disciple. But he will have to wait, till his time has come.’ So he initiated the fisherman, and ordered him to practice the sadhana he taught him while remaining inside the fish, and he declared him as his disciple. For twelve long years the fisherman practiced his sadhana, sitting inside the fish.

One day at the place called Shree Tapri, other fishermen caught that big fish and dragged it out of the water. Seeing its unusual heaviness, they thought that it might have in its stomach some gold or silver. They took it out of the water, cut open her belly, and saw a man sitting there. Totally shocked by this, the fisherman asked him, ‘Who you are?’ And was answered, ‘I was a fisherman like you. At the time of the ruling of the King Amuk, this fish dragged me into the ocean and swallowed me afterwards.’

When people gathered to see him and calculated the time that had elapsed since that moment they found that twelve years had passed by. Everyone was greatly astonished to see this wonderful event. Since that moment, he became famous and known as Matsyendranath.

The people started to praise him, and he immediately started dancing. As he danced, his feet entered deep into the earth, as if it was wet. When he continued his dance on a big stone, his feet entered deep into it, as if it was wet and soft mud. All around people were amazed to see this miracle. On seeing their astonishment, Matsyendranath sang:

‘Because of previously accumulated good karma
And as the power of chanting the Sacred Mantra
I have got these wonderful qualities, Hey ho, my Mind Jewel!'

He then spent five hundred years performing various deeds to uplift humanity. Minapa, Vajrapada and Achintapa (Achintya), these are three names under which he became famous in different places. At first he got mundane Siddhis (supernatural powers), but later he entered the True Path and became dissolved into the Eternal Void.

  Matsyendranath  gold 19 x 12 x 7 cm edition of 108   The meaning of the story of Matsyendranath   ”What did Mahadeva teach Uma? What were Minapa’s precepts? This is a matter of speculation upon which we will touch below. The message of this legend, however, lies in its stress on the purely fortuitous, accidental events in the miracle of the disciple's attainment of initiation and precept. But neither Indians nor Tibetans have any concept of chance, luck or accidental coincidence. Every event, major or trivial, has as its cause some act in the past of this life, or in a life aeons ago if there is no conceivable relation of the present to this lifetime's karma. The fish, Leviathan, is universally symbolic of the spiritual life (thus the epithet The Hindu Jonah), and Minapa's quite unpremeditated ingestion by the fish is the first of his "pieces of luck" caused by his "past lives' virtue." Involuntarily invested with a spiritual body, Minapa finds himself, unlike any other siddha, coerced by his Guru into initiation. Minapa had the "luck" of the turtle swimming in the cosmic ocean seeking the one ring thrown in randomly, into which he did indeed thrust his head, to gain enlightenment. Finally, in his totally successful saga of spiritual quest, after the numerologically significant twelve years of sadhana, he is allowed once more to touch earth, released from the fluid and uncertain, indeterminate watery sphere, which is so supportive a medium for sadhana that it could hardly be called a prison. The image of the fish-man has further analogical significance for the tantrika: the fish swims effortlessly, unblinking, apparently unsleeping, in its all-pervasive ocean, in it but not of it- fishes never get wet, never toiling but always well fed, never taking life to survive (to the knowledge of the Ganges river-people and the Tibetans), and never in conflict with one-another. To the Tibetans the fish is sacred. Indeed, Fish-lord (Minanath or its linguistic variants Macchendranath or Matsyendranath) may have been an epithet of realized yogins employed like Avadhuti or Acintapa.” ~ Keith Dowman

Matsyendranath
gold
19 x 12 x 7 cm
edition of 108

The meaning of the story of Matsyendranath

”What did Mahadeva teach Uma? What were Minapa’s precepts? This is a matter of speculation upon which we will touch below. The message of this legend, however, lies in its stress on the purely fortuitous, accidental events in the miracle of the disciple's attainment of initiation and precept. But neither Indians nor Tibetans have any concept of chance, luck or accidental coincidence. Every event, major or trivial, has as its cause some act in the past of this life, or in a life aeons ago if there is no conceivable relation of the present to this lifetime's karma. The fish, Leviathan, is universally symbolic of the spiritual life (thus the epithet The Hindu Jonah), and Minapa's quite unpremeditated ingestion by the fish is the first of his "pieces of luck" caused by his "past lives' virtue." Involuntarily invested with a spiritual body, Minapa finds himself, unlike any other siddha, coerced by his Guru into initiation. Minapa had the "luck" of the turtle swimming in the cosmic ocean seeking the one ring thrown in randomly, into which he did indeed thrust his head, to gain enlightenment. Finally, in his totally successful saga of spiritual quest, after the numerologically significant twelve years of sadhana, he is allowed once more to touch earth, released from the fluid and uncertain, indeterminate watery sphere, which is so supportive a medium for sadhana that it could hardly be called a prison. The image of the fish-man has further analogical significance for the tantrika: the fish swims effortlessly, unblinking, apparently unsleeping, in its all-pervasive ocean, in it but not of it- fishes never get wet, never toiling but always well fed, never taking life to survive (to the knowledge of the Ganges river-people and the Tibetans), and never in conflict with one-another. To the Tibetans the fish is sacred. Indeed, Fish-lord (Minanath or its linguistic variants Macchendranath or Matsyendranath) may have been an epithet of realized yogins employed like Avadhuti or Acintapa.”
~ Keith Dowman

  Matsyendranath  gold 19 x 12 x 7 cm edition of 108   What can we learn from Matsyendranath?   The story of the fisherman Matsyendranath (and that of all the Mahasiddhas) is a beautiful illustration of what is humanly possible, if left in peace for a long period of time, without any disturbances, and if initiated into the powerful techniques of yoga and meditation. Anyone and Everyone can reach such extraordinary progress on the Path of Yoga, if given the appropriate practices, and when not disturbed nor distracted. Only then can one turn within, redirect one's sight from the outside world towards inner reality, first becoming aware of its existence, and then becoming established there permanently. Such a condition - to have the grace to come into contact with authentic teachings, and the clarity and quietness to put then into practice, is rare today but not impossible. To make practice successful it must be given through initiation, and it must be a continuous practice, uninterrupted for an extended period of time.

Matsyendranath
gold
19 x 12 x 7 cm
edition of 108

What can we learn from Matsyendranath?

The story of the fisherman Matsyendranath (and that of all the Mahasiddhas) is a beautiful illustration of what is humanly possible, if left in peace for a long period of time, without any disturbances, and if initiated into the powerful techniques of yoga and meditation. Anyone and Everyone can reach such extraordinary progress on the Path of Yoga, if given the appropriate practices, and when not disturbed nor distracted. Only then can one turn within, redirect one's sight from the outside world towards inner reality, first becoming aware of its existence, and then becoming established there permanently. Such a condition - to have the grace to come into contact with authentic teachings, and the clarity and quietness to put then into practice, is rare today but not impossible. To make practice successful it must be given through initiation, and it must be a continuous practice, uninterrupted for an extended period of time.

  Matsyendranath  gold 19 x 12 x 7 cm edition of 108  ”May Lord Macchanda, who made the Net, red with passion, stretched and extended, strewn with knots and holes, initiating the immanent powers along the outer path, be pleased with me.” ~ Abhinavagupta

Matsyendranath
gold
19 x 12 x 7 cm
edition of 108

”May Lord Macchanda, who made the Net, red with passion, stretched and extended, strewn with knots and holes, initiating the immanent powers along the outer path, be pleased with me.”
~ Abhinavagupta

  Between Heaven and Earth  天地之间 steel 10m x 12m x 12m  The beliefs of ancient Chinese held that China was the ‘middle kingdom’ between heaven and earth, and located at the center of this intermediary realm was Dengfeng. Because of its unique cosmological significance, Dengfeng became the place where China’s early dynasties established their capitals and one of the first cradles for Chinese civilization. Ancient Chinese astronomers, astrologers, as well as Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist practitioners and sages, all visited Dengfeng to worship at its holy mountain. When I was approached to create a sculpture for this site, I was inspired when I discovered that the Indian Tantrik Yoga master Bodhidharma lived, practiced, and taught not far from there. Bodhi Dharma is said to have transmitted Zen to China, and trained the warriors who later became the Kung Fu adepts known as the Shaolin Monks. I called on the guidance of Bodhi Dharma for this project.

Between Heaven and Earth
天地之间
steel
10m x 12m x 12m

The beliefs of ancient Chinese held that China was the ‘middle kingdom’ between heaven and earth, and located at the center of this intermediary realm was Dengfeng. Because of its unique cosmological significance, Dengfeng became the place where China’s early dynasties established their capitals and one of the first cradles for Chinese civilization. Ancient Chinese astronomers, astrologers, as well as Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist practitioners and sages, all visited Dengfeng to worship at its holy mountain. When I was approached to create a sculpture for this site, I was inspired when I discovered that the Indian Tantrik Yoga master Bodhidharma lived, practiced, and taught not far from there. Bodhi Dharma is said to have transmitted Zen to China, and trained the warriors who later became the Kung Fu adepts known as the Shaolin Monks. I called on the guidance of Bodhi Dharma for this project.

  Between Heaven and Earth  天地之间 steel 10m x 12m x 12m  The title of the sculpture,  Between Heaven and Earth , refers to the significance of this region as the "Centre of Heaven and Earth", and describes the liminal space where the dynamic process of our temporal human existence is occurring.

Between Heaven and Earth
天地之间
steel
10m x 12m x 12m

The title of the sculpture, Between Heaven and Earth, refers to the significance of this region as the "Centre of Heaven and Earth", and describes the liminal space where the dynamic process of our temporal human existence is occurring.

  Between Heaven and Earth  天地之间 steel 10m x 12m x 12m  Flowing fabric has been important iconographic element of both the western and eastern traditions of sculpture. In the west during the baroque period, the flowing fabric adorned religious icons as a way of emphasising the theatrical nature of the subject. It was also a way that artists displayed their virtuosity. In the East, icons of the Buddhist and Hindu pantheon wear fluttering scarfs and flowing garments, because the deity is emitting prana (or Chi or life force). The implied movement is the effulgence of the deity, who is generously conveying their inner aliveness to you. In both traditions flowing fabric has a weightless quality, as if unaffected by gravity, suggesting these beings are beyond our worldly conception of space and time. The process of creating  Between Heaven and Earth  involved a formal distillation of this element of the eastern and western traditions of sacred sculpture into a secular expression of the all-pervasive energy that animates and unifies life.

Between Heaven and Earth
天地之间
steel
10m x 12m x 12m

Flowing fabric has been important iconographic element of both the western and eastern traditions of sculpture. In the west during the baroque period, the flowing fabric adorned religious icons as a way of emphasising the theatrical nature of the subject. It was also a way that artists displayed their virtuosity. In the East, icons of the Buddhist and Hindu pantheon wear fluttering scarfs and flowing garments, because the deity is emitting prana (or Chi or life force). The implied movement is the effulgence of the deity, who is generously conveying their inner aliveness to you. In both traditions flowing fabric has a weightless quality, as if unaffected by gravity, suggesting these beings are beyond our worldly conception of space and time. The process of creating Between Heaven and Earth involved a formal distillation of this element of the eastern and western traditions of sacred sculpture into a secular expression of the all-pervasive energy that animates and unifies life.

  Between Heaven and Earth  天地之间 steel 10m x 12m x 12m  Sculpture is inherently static. While there is a quality of dynamism to this form, there is also stillness. You see this quality of "dynamic stillness" when you watch an adept at Kungfu. There is movement and flow, but also poise and inner stillness. At the core of being is not an inert void but rather a still silent aliveness that is dynamic - a silence from which activity spontaneously emerges. The result of realising this truth in everyday life is having the countenance to get out of the way or to take a step at the right time, to be in the flow of events as they proceed without contrivance. It may sound like a capacity that one possesses, but this quality that we see in others and that we experience ourselves is always a shared phenomena as we realize the vacuity that we are - it is the innate quality of reality itself.

Between Heaven and Earth
天地之间
steel
10m x 12m x 12m

Sculpture is inherently static. While there is a quality of dynamism to this form, there is also stillness. You see this quality of "dynamic stillness" when you watch an adept at Kungfu. There is movement and flow, but also poise and inner stillness. At the core of being is not an inert void but rather a still silent aliveness that is dynamic - a silence from which activity spontaneously emerges. The result of realising this truth in everyday life is having the countenance to get out of the way or to take a step at the right time, to be in the flow of events as they proceed without contrivance. It may sound like a capacity that one possesses, but this quality that we see in others and that we experience ourselves is always a shared phenomena as we realize the vacuity that we are - it is the innate quality of reality itself.

  Between Heaven and Earth  天地之间 steel 10m x 12m x 12m  In the tradition of Tantrik meditation which Bodhidharma transmitted to China, one of the most important teachings is that yogic power (creative energy, Shakti) arises from inner peace, from the silent mediative mind. This is not power not born of restlessness, agression, or conflict which divides and destroys. It is an energy born of concentration, devotion, and compassion, which flows forth freely, of it's own accord. What it does destroy is negativity, ignorance, and hatred. It has a will of it's own and is not bound by or emergent from the individual will. "Between Heaven and Earth" intends to embody this power which unifies and spiritualises, and serve as a reference point for us to locate that experience within ourselves. Flowing/still, stormy/silent, potent/gentle, monumental/light - to unify these apparent contradictions, these dualities, in a singular sculptural form opens space to align with the deepest nature of our own human experience, that which is beyond opposites, the non-dual essence of reality.

Between Heaven and Earth
天地之间
steel
10m x 12m x 12m

In the tradition of Tantrik meditation which Bodhidharma transmitted to China, one of the most important teachings is that yogic power (creative energy, Shakti) arises from inner peace, from the silent mediative mind. This is not power not born of restlessness, agression, or conflict which divides and destroys. It is an energy born of concentration, devotion, and compassion, which flows forth freely, of it's own accord. What it does destroy is negativity, ignorance, and hatred. It has a will of it's own and is not bound by or emergent from the individual will. "Between Heaven and Earth" intends to embody this power which unifies and spiritualises, and serve as a reference point for us to locate that experience within ourselves. Flowing/still, stormy/silent, potent/gentle, monumental/light - to unify these apparent contradictions, these dualities, in a singular sculptural form opens space to align with the deepest nature of our own human experience, that which is beyond opposites, the non-dual essence of reality.

DSC03183.JPG
©Christian de Vietri 7.jpg
 Spanda is a 9 story-high sculpture made of carbon fiber located in Perth, Western Australia. The intention was create an icon that would transform the cityscape and the identity of the city, in effect opening its “heart”. The imagined contour of a human auric energy field was a starting point for the sculpture’s design. The exponential repetition of this form creates the impression of an infinite vibration inwards and outwards and this pattern of self-similarity is intended to trigger the viewer's inner experience of “the whole being contained within all the parts”, the recognition of themselves as individual expressions of the universal, intimately interconnected, and one with their total environment. The sculpture is large, but not heavy, the gaps between each arch still allowing people to walk through and see the sculpture and the city from any angle. It was designed to have a strong sense of presence, without obscuring any building or vantage point, and to align with site so the curvature of the form contrasts with gridded square buildings behind it. The arch-like quality of the form is mysteriously functionless as it is neither an entrance nor an exit, but stands alone, declaring its own liminal space for the viewer to merge with. The title of the work is a Sanskrit word meaning “divine vibration”. This term is used to describe how consciousness moves in waves of contraction and expansion. The sculpture is intended to be both a formal embodiment of this ‘spanda’ principle, and a tool, or means, to experience it. To create the structure, carbon fibre manufacturing and design technologies from the aerospace industry were re-purposed by a team of expert fabricators and engineers, enabling a truly unique civil structure that could not have been delivered in traditional materials. Spanda is now the world's tallest free standing structure made of carbon fiber.

Spanda is a 9 story-high sculpture made of carbon fiber located in Perth, Western Australia. The intention was create an icon that would transform the cityscape and the identity of the city, in effect opening its “heart”. The imagined contour of a human auric energy field was a starting point for the sculpture’s design. The exponential repetition of this form creates the impression of an infinite vibration inwards and outwards and this pattern of self-similarity is intended to trigger the viewer's inner experience of “the whole being contained within all the parts”, the recognition of themselves as individual expressions of the universal, intimately interconnected, and one with their total environment. The sculpture is large, but not heavy, the gaps between each arch still allowing people to walk through and see the sculpture and the city from any angle. It was designed to have a strong sense of presence, without obscuring any building or vantage point, and to align with site so the curvature of the form contrasts with gridded square buildings behind it. The arch-like quality of the form is mysteriously functionless as it is neither an entrance nor an exit, but stands alone, declaring its own liminal space for the viewer to merge with. The title of the work is a Sanskrit word meaning “divine vibration”. This term is used to describe how consciousness moves in waves of contraction and expansion. The sculpture is intended to be both a formal embodiment of this ‘spanda’ principle, and a tool, or means, to experience it. To create the structure, carbon fibre manufacturing and design technologies from the aerospace industry were re-purposed by a team of expert fabricators and engineers, enabling a truly unique civil structure that could not have been delivered in traditional materials. Spanda is now the world's tallest free standing structure made of carbon fiber.

©Christian de Vietri 13.jpg
 “The Joy of Awareness is attained through the expansion of The Center”   ~  Kshemaraja

“The Joy of Awareness is attained through the expansion of The Center”

~
Kshemaraja

©Christian de Vietri 3.jpg
 1:80 scale model of Spanda gold 36 x 20 x 4 cm edition of 108

1:80 scale model of Spanda
gold
36 x 20 x 4 cm
edition of 108

  Ascalon  collaboration with Marcus Canning 2011 e-glass, steel, light 18 x 11 x 9 m   The sculpture was commissioned by Saint George’s Cathedral in Australia, inspired by the myth of Saint George, and named after the lance with which he slayed the Dragon.  The European dragon has very specific connotations, quite distinct from it's significance in other spiritual traditions, for example in the East where the dragon is symbolic of auspicious power. The European dragon guards things in its cave. What he guards are heaps of gold, and virgins. He can't make use of either of them, but he just guards them. There is no vitality of experience, either of the value of the gold, or of the female who he is guarding there. Psychologically, spiritually, the dragon is one's own binding of oneself to one's ego - you are captured in your own dragon cave. The role of spiritual practice of any tradition is to free you of this bind - by slaying the dragon we free ourselves of calcified conditioning, of behaviours that limit us, of illusions that confuse us, and we open ourselves to the wider field of life experience, to the reality of our who we truly are, we dance with life, we become one with the creative force of life itself - this is result of slaying the dragon.

Ascalon
collaboration with Marcus Canning
2011
e-glass, steel, light
18 x 11 x 9 m

The sculpture was commissioned by Saint George’s Cathedral in Australia, inspired by the myth of Saint George, and named after the lance with which he slayed the Dragon.

The European dragon has very specific connotations, quite distinct from it's significance in other spiritual traditions, for example in the East where the dragon is symbolic of auspicious power. The European dragon guards things in its cave. What he guards are heaps of gold, and virgins. He can't make use of either of them, but he just guards them. There is no vitality of experience, either of the value of the gold, or of the female who he is guarding there. Psychologically, spiritually, the dragon is one's own binding of oneself to one's ego - you are captured in your own dragon cave. The role of spiritual practice of any tradition is to free you of this bind - by slaying the dragon we free ourselves of calcified conditioning, of behaviours that limit us, of illusions that confuse us, and we open ourselves to the wider field of life experience, to the reality of our who we truly are, we dance with life, we become one with the creative force of life itself - this is result of slaying the dragon.

  Ascalon  collaboration with Marcus Canning 2011 e-glass, steel, light 18 x 11 x 9 m  Saint George is a figure of monumental cultural significance across history and cultures, and is somewhat unique in his cross-cultural and cross-denominational importance. He is the patron saint of a more diverse array of places and peoples than perhaps any other, and the only one that has a tradition of veneration by Christians alongside Muslims in the Holy Land. The universal veneration applied to him surpasses that of many Christian martyr Saints. His story, and the myth that surrounds him contain a true archetype. He embodies a universal theme, the struggle for good to overcome evil, and for light to prevail over darkness. This pertains to the particular and the personal, as to the progression of the collective enterprise of humanity across time.

Ascalon
collaboration with Marcus Canning
2011
e-glass, steel, light
18 x 11 x 9 m

Saint George is a figure of monumental cultural significance across history and cultures, and is somewhat unique in his cross-cultural and cross-denominational importance. He is the patron saint of a more diverse array of places and peoples than perhaps any other, and the only one that has a tradition of veneration by Christians alongside Muslims in the Holy Land. The universal veneration applied to him surpasses that of many Christian martyr Saints. His story, and the myth that surrounds him contain a true archetype. He embodies a universal theme, the struggle for good to overcome evil, and for light to prevail over darkness. This pertains to the particular and the personal, as to the progression of the collective enterprise of humanity across time.

  Ascalon  collaboration with Marcus Canning 2011 e-glass, steel, light 18 x 11 x 9 m

Ascalon
collaboration with Marcus Canning
2011
e-glass, steel, light
18 x 11 x 9 m

Ascalon20110415_6708G WEB.jpg
 The Blessing of Ascalon by The Very Reverend Dr. John Shepherd

The Blessing of Ascalon by The Very Reverend Dr. John Shepherd

  The Gathering  2009 aluminium 70" x 48" x 48" commissioned by the Public Art Fund New York  The Public Art Fund in New York commissioned this artwork for a public square in the center of the city. Wood was gathered from forest on the outskirts of New York City and “burn cast” in a single metal-pour. It is the first in a series of permanent public sculptures made by and about fire - about the process of burning and about re-evoking the activities and connectedness implied by the form of the bonfire. Since the dawn of time the fire have served as a nexus of human activity and interaction. It brought early humans out of literal and spiritual darkness, marking the very beginnings of civilization. It is still used today as a way of celebrating, cooking, sacrificing, socializing, and story telling. The sculpture is intended to evoke such a depth and breadth of references that it transcends signification. The process by which the sculpture came into being is an important part of the artwork itself.

The Gathering
2009
aluminium
70" x 48" x 48"
commissioned by the Public Art Fund New York

The Public Art Fund in New York commissioned this artwork for a public square in the center of the city. Wood was gathered from forest on the outskirts of New York City and “burn cast” in a single metal-pour. It is the first in a series of permanent public sculptures made by and about fire - about the process of burning and about re-evoking the activities and connectedness implied by the form of the bonfire. Since the dawn of time the fire have served as a nexus of human activity and interaction. It brought early humans out of literal and spiritual darkness, marking the very beginnings of civilization. It is still used today as a way of celebrating, cooking, sacrificing, socializing, and story telling. The sculpture is intended to evoke such a depth and breadth of references that it transcends signification. The process by which the sculpture came into being is an important part of the artwork itself.

  The Gathering  (detail) 2009 aluminium 70" x 48" x 48" commissioned by the Public Art Fund New York (close-up)  To experience the sculpture, while taking into consideration its materialization, is to enter an ontological paradox. It's like a sculptural zen Kōan, which disables or disarms the mind's ability to grasp it. It appears as an unlit campfire, but the process of creating the sculpture has burnt out the wood already. This is a monument constructed through the processes implied by its own formal arrangement...in other words, fire was used to create this representation of firewood before being burnt. The final form, the image/shape of the bonfire, acknowledges the processes of its own formation, but the material shift denies the potential of this process - its solidity and material re-composition denies any possibility of being destroyed. The sculpture is both a prologue and an epilogue about fire - with the essential active element of light as fire as alchemy having passed through the sculpture already.

The Gathering (detail)
2009
aluminium
70" x 48" x 48"
commissioned by the Public Art Fund New York
(close-up)

To experience the sculpture, while taking into consideration its materialization, is to enter an ontological paradox. It's like a sculptural zen Kōan, which disables or disarms the mind's ability to grasp it. It appears as an unlit campfire, but the process of creating the sculpture has burnt out the wood already. This is a monument constructed through the processes implied by its own formal arrangement...in other words, fire was used to create this representation of firewood before being burnt. The final form, the image/shape of the bonfire, acknowledges the processes of its own formation, but the material shift denies the potential of this process - its solidity and material re-composition denies any possibility of being destroyed. The sculpture is both a prologue and an epilogue about fire - with the essential active element of light as fire as alchemy having passed through the sculpture already.

JamesEwing_PAF_DoubleTake_32 WEB.jpg
 Zero, X, Light Years marble, aluminium, phosphorescent plastic collection of Axel Nordin collection of Tony Salame collection of Ben and Kellie Doolan  Columbia MFA Thesis work exhibited at the Fisher Landau Centre and then Deitch Projects New York.

Zero, X, Light Years
marble, aluminium, phosphorescent plastic
collection of Axel Nordin
collection of Tony Salame
collection of Ben and Kellie Doolan

Columbia MFA Thesis work exhibited at the Fisher Landau Centre and then Deitch Projects New York.

  Light Years  (close up) 2009 30 x 180 x 66 cm phosphorescent plastic collection of Marcus Canning   The sculpture is cast in a highly phosphorescent light-absorbing/light-emitting plastic. It absorbs light by day and emits light throughout the night. The sculpture is a fictional being with a  body in essence of light. Immortality is both its aim and its condition, for true social solidarity can be established solely among immortals. As long as each individual possesses a private piece of time, actual private property cannot be abolished. This being belongs to a realm that strives for the collectivization of space and time. They have learnt to live forever from light because only in eternity can the conflicts between the individual and society - insolvable in real time - be successfully resolved. The goal of physical immortality in this realm is the highest goal for each individual, as they believe that only when society adopts this goal as its own will an individual remain loyal and free within society. The sculpture is the embodiment of biological and sculptural immortality.

Light Years
(close up)
2009
30 x 180 x 66 cm
phosphorescent plastic
collection of Marcus Canning


The sculpture is cast in a highly phosphorescent light-absorbing/light-emitting plastic. It absorbs light by day and emits light throughout the night. The sculpture is a fictional being with a body in essence of light. Immortality is both its aim and its condition, for true social solidarity can be established solely among immortals. As long as each individual possesses a private piece of time, actual private property cannot be abolished. This being belongs to a realm that strives for the collectivization of space and time. They have learnt to live forever from light because only in eternity can the conflicts between the individual and society - insolvable in real time - be successfully resolved. The goal of physical immortality in this realm is the highest goal for each individual, as they believe that only when society adopts this goal as its own will an individual remain loyal and free within society. The sculpture is the embodiment of biological and sculptural immortality.

  X  burn-cast bronze 60 x 60 x 50cm collection of Axel Nordin  First sculpture made after moving to New York in 2007.    Agni  (Fire), the first word of the first sentence of the first verse of the first book of the Veda: अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् ॥१॥ “I praise the divine fire of consciousness, the priest as the offerer of the oblation, the supreme giver of treasure” ~ Rig Veda 1.1.1

X
burn-cast bronze
60 x 60 x 50cm
collection of Axel Nordin

First sculpture made after moving to New York in 2007.

Agni (Fire), the first word of the first sentence of the first verse of the first book of the Veda:
अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् ॥१॥
“I praise the divine fire of consciousness, the priest as the offerer of the oblation, the supreme giver of treasure”
~ Rig Veda 1.1.1