Beautiful examples of bio-architecture can be found at Michael Rice’s website. Mike is considered to be the leading bio-architect and has completed over 400 projects, including houses, meditation huts and community spaces. He is an award winning architect and member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland. His stunning buildings blend nature, humanity and space. And are constructed using sacred geometry, designs of nature and feng shui. Naturally, ecology and the materials also are an important elements of the structures.
The concept of Bio-Architecture emerged from Roger Green's 'International Sacred Geometry and Ecology' conferences. It is a term coined by Dan Winter who inspired many architects to use the geometry seen in nature's creations and integrate it into 'living' architecture. These principles are also incorporated into other environmental designs such as the Bloom the Desert projects.
Mike approaches his designs with the intent that everything is alive, interconnected and conscious. In essence a building is a living form! Being within such structures is invigorating, life sustaining, up-lifting....life enhancing.
Bio-Architecture conferences have been held in Budapest (2007) and South America. As a general theme, the merging of nature and man in designs is increasingly significant in design.
Regal mauve-purple, colour of limitless creativity and insight, is a stunning feature of nature's creations. Since my blog on Pantone's colour for 2018 I was intrigued to see how often nature used this stunning colour, especially since it was rare and expensive as a dye for such a long time and hence limited in its use by humans.
A stunning purple violet 18-3838 is the PANTONE colour for 2018. Tyrian (Imperial) purple tones were made out the secretion of predatory sea snails and used to be extremely expensive to produce, hence purple's association with royalty and special ceremonies.
Purple became an affordable dye around 1856 when the English chemist William Henry Perkin, aged 18, noticed that a compound from synthesised quinine dyed fabrics purple. He patented it, calling it anilin purple, and made a fortune from it. Then in 1859 the colour was renamed 'mauve' after the French name for the purple mallow flower (and the dye compound was named mauveine). Interestingly, it is only recently that purple printing has featured more on product packaging as the main colour.
Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.
In celebration of the creativity of humanity here is a gallery of our PROLIFIC uses for the circle and sphere. From the invention of the wheel and construction of simple round buildings, using minimal materials and gaining maximum space, our uses for this most basic geometric construct are extensive. Simple and stunning, the sphere is the vessel of all geometric forms.
In celebration of the new annual cycle of 2018 I have put together a gallery of naturally occurring circles and spheres (without spirals). Enjoy!
Tune into the healing music of Bengaluru-based 'Blushing Satellite', an Indian band whose music is based on the transformative healing of sound. Sound vibrations contain the geometric code structuring reality and the fabric of our being. Everything manifest from pure consciousness crystallises into existence through vibration. It is not surprising sound vibrations affect us to the core of our being.
This band maintains music is a form of therapy through cymatics (see my previous posts on this topic). Vocalist Ramanan Chandramouli says, "We create music and perform to tune the listener's attention inward, to slow down the thought process and bring the agitated mind to calm and restful state. This is where all healing happens." As John Stuart Reid states, "It is worth remembering that Pythagorus of Somas...also believed that music could be used as medicine and contributes greatly to health, if used in an appropriate manner...by using music in the place of medicine."
Music therapy is already used widely as a clinical discipline but John Stuart Reid is conducting research to validate the hypothesis that individual frequencies within sound can support healing in the body. He is currently investigating whether music can lengthen the life of human blood cells.
It was a unique experience painting with acrylics in torrential rain showers during this year's En-Plein in Windsor. As painting en-plein is a rare experience for me I took improvised rain cover, which was not sufficient for the heavy rain and wind. Regulars had an array of quite amazing kit that kept them dry, such as an umbrella with a zip-on sheet to make a cosy shelter.
My painting was literally washed off twice, as I battled to dry it in-between each downpour. So instead I did a high speed pen drawing but it got to the point that my hands were so cold they were shaking. Another shower and more wind send me packing to the welcome shelter of Windsor town centre. My resulting piece is not polished but I like the ghostly image of a smaller shadowed castle within the larger drawing. At the beginning, in the sunshine, I was going to do a smaller castle with its windows and more of the formal east garden, but soon realised I wasn't going to have sufficient time outside to complete so much detail.
It is a rare privilege to be able to go into the east gardens of Windsor Castle. These are the Queen's private gardens where she walks her corgis. A dog bowl of water by the stairs was a reminder of this. I chose to paint in these gardens because of the formal geometry used in their design.
These three images are (left to right): Canvas ready to go, my view through scaffolding, stock image of the east gardens.
These pictures are my washed off painting on the left to which I added some colour.
This year all the entrants' paintings were displayed under cover in the Windsor shopping area by the station. A line of easels ran along the shop front windows and made a very interesting display. Many people had a close look and voted on their favourite painting.
Overall a throughly enjoyable day as it was artistically challenging and sociable.
Archetypal symbolism using a variety of geometric shapes is ancient, stretching back to the dawn of man's earliest artworks as seen in petroglyphs around the world. Our ancestors’ simple drawings on rocks and artefacts gave tangible form to the harmonious patterns of life and the intangible order uniting the Universe. They give 'form to the formless' and are abstract expressions of the science manifesting reality.
Ueshiba Morihei (founder of aikido):
Down the generations all cultures have used simple shapes such as these and they, like Zen artists, had the same profound understanding that the simple patterns shaping the Universe were themselves sacred and empowered. Other examples, used extensively in my books, are yantras and mandalas. Tantra Yoga is the path of union with the Absolute through geometric visualization in Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Central to Tantrism are elaborate and precise geometric patterns, known as mandalas or yantras, some of which are thousands of years old. In this tradition the triangle, circle and square were significant Vedic forms which symbolised spirituality, evolution and the Earth respectively. Additionally in both Indian and Japanese esoteric teachings, such as Mikkyo, these shapes represent earth (square), water (circle) and fire (triangle).
Simple shapes embodying intricate complexity, the circle, square and triangle structure and bind the 3 profound concepts of time (evolution: Mind, serenity and perfection:water), space (Earth:Body:earth) and being (spirituality:solidity and applied control:fire). The empty circle, the vessel for all geometry shapes, when totally empty is the essence of enlightenment.
Here is my version of these timeless concepts:
All ready for Bucks Open Studios 2017!
A wonderful space for exhibiting a large selection of my art, cards and books.
Set within my exhibition is a display of, bespoke milliner, Tracy Field's beautiful creations.
I even managed to find an alcove in which to work, so I am really enjoying myself.
'Brush With Fame' on Sunday 28th May 2017 - a tremendous initiative by the Bucks Open Studios organisers to encourage people to visit artists studios in the coming weeks. I was one of the lucky artists to be there, in Milton Keyes, painting Michael Praed's portrait over 4 hours.
After the first hour of nerves I settled into the process (it has been many, many years since I last did a portrait). It was wonderful that so many people, including other artists, really appreciated my unusual approach to doing his portrait as an abstract painting using mixed media (acrylic, liquid water colour).
Watch this space, more portraits to come...
Here we go
The end result