If you’re a local at Brighton Beach, there’s no way you could have missed the incredible mandalas that frequently sprawl across the sand by the jetty. These mandalas are the work of talented artist Sue Norman.
The inspiration for the mandalas came to Norman after a recent move to Adelaide from New Zealand – “the shift left me in a space of contemplation of what to do next in my life.” Norman’s first mandala was the result of some “mindless doodling” as she sat on the sand one day. She says “I felt the desire to keep expanding it and they just grew.” Creating mandalas on the sand gave Norman the opportunity to joyfully create art “on a huge canvas”, without limitation. She adds, “a wonderful by-product was that the public also enjoyed seeing them.”
The creation of the mandalas is a deeply meditative experience for Norman; “they’re like an inner language that when listened to pours out of me in the form of circles and shapes.” Sue says that “all creativity comes from within” and that her art bring her joy, comfort, awareness and balance.
The mandalas usually take an hour and a half to two hours to complete, depending on the level of detail and “how many people stop to chat.”
Norman simply allows the patterns to form as she creates them, stating that she follows the “patterns flowing in my imagination.” No two mandalas created by Norman are the same - sometimes they’re just a pattern in the sand, other times the mandala becomes a maze for the public to enjoy or a space for meditation and contemplation.
Norman also runs free creative workshops, including school holiday workshops for children and adult workshops where participants are guided through the process of creating ‘heartfelt’ mandalas using a variety of mediums and breathing techniques. These workshops are highly rewarding for those who participate and for Norman herself, who states “I love watching people lose the belief that they can’t draw as they create such awesome works.”
All images via Sue Norman's Facebook page.