Sunday 29 April 2012

Tibetan Buddhst Calligraphy Gallery & Charity Sale - Scorpion Seals aplenty

Well, you lucky people, here is an opportunity for you to indulge your own artistic interests, your desire to acquire, AND your charitable spirit. 

Some of the calligraphies created by Ngak'chang Rinpoche for the talk in Bristol have found their way into our tender care, and we display them here for your delight and delectation, and most importantly your purchase!

Below are images of the last remaining calligraphies created for the Drala Jong appeal. . . get 'em while they're hot!  Each of the calligraphies pictured here is for sale (bar the last one - see below) and each is a unique and original artwork.

Price: £150 plus postage and packaging (£4.99 UK, £9.99 airmail Rest of World)

Orders can be placed and payments made via the e-mail address at the top of this page.

Size: 30" x 20" (75cm x 50cm)

(Apologies by the way for my imperfect photographic efforts - I was unable to get a completely square-on shot of the artworks, despite standing on various pieces of furniture and trying various tacks.  I did think of trying to suspend myself from the chandelier to get a better angle, but realised that might have hurt my back - not least because we don't actually have a chandelier).

Just as an aside - before proceeding - but did you know that the blog piece on the Scorpion Seal is the most read item on this site?

Anyway, on to the calligraphies. 

É Ma Ho:

(exclamation of delighted-surprise, wonder, or amazement)


Seed syllable
(2 available)

empyrean ebullience
(enrapturement, great joy, overjoyed, boundless beatific delight)

spatial wind
(the subtle motility  which animates being, breath, breathing, air, vital current [vayu / prana] the subtle energy which moves within the spatial channels)

magical radiance
(dynamic appearances generated through conjuring with energy of phenomena)

miraculous vision
(sGyu ’phrul ’drwa ba chen po’i ting ’dzin – meditative absorbtion within the interconnectivity-web of reality)
Seals central 

immensity of empty-potentiality
(that which allows all phenomena to arise, uncreated, unborn, unoriginated, non-produced, unmanufactured, unobstructed, devoid of artifice)

 vast expansiveness of reality
(space basis space, immensity, limitless scope, unboundedness)

spatial enchantment and miraculous orchestration of phenomena
(creation of apparitions, magical power and display, telekinesis / psychokinesis, et cetera)

miraculous vision
(sGyu ’phrul ’drwa ba chen po’i ting ’dzin – meditative absorbtion within the interconnectivity-web of reality)
Seals to the left

as it is - reality
(Dharma [and dharmas as in ‘phenomena’], teaching of Buddhas, religion [teachings / doctrine / scripture / text / tenet /precept] quality, attribute, characteristic, ability)


This is the only calligraphy which is not currently for sale.  You may notice both the fine profusion of ink spots, and accompanying Scorpion Seal - associated with Wrathfulness - and also the fact that this is the only calligraphy where the script lies outside of the circle.  When asked, Ngak'chang Rinpoche confirmed that this is the first time he has written script outside of the circle on any of his works.  Thus it is that this work is particularly distinctive - and particularly desirable.  Several offers have been made for this work, but none yet accepted, and the current thought is that it will be raffled auctioned at a charity dinner later this year.  If you wish to submit a speculative electronic bid for this work, you could chance your arm via the e-mail address above.  This *may* be the only calligraphy Rinpoche ever creates in this way in his lifetime. . .

[Update - this last calligraphy was sold by auction mid-2012, with a final bid several times higher than the normal sale price of the other calligraphies - thank you to those who bid]

BTW - Blues Masters up next.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Diggin' it

Well, we're back from the latest Apprentice Retreat here in good old Blighty, and although the event itself was nothing to do with fund raising for the project, various folk have been diggin' the Drala Jong fundraising effort one way or the other.  Nearly £2,000 has poured into the appeal as a result.  It's particularly good to see this sort of casual fund raising happening, with lots of little projects providing people with things that they want and need, for small contributions here and there - including vajrayana instruments, gZi stones and shawls all donated to the project and sold to grateful practitioners.

As well as vajrayana artifacts 13 Sky Signature calligraphies were sold in Finland by Bar-ché and Me-sel, and several more found new owners during the retreat.

My lovely wife Shé-zér has also added a few pennies to the coffers in her one woman Dig-For-Dharma campaign - by selling 50 strawberry plants for the appeal. 

On it's own it won't keep Jerry from the door (but it will give Margo something to peer at over the hedge row).

Most significant though was the arrival in Britain of several of the Blues Masters images courtesy of Ngak'chang Rinpoche.  Their creation was sparked through his work on his autobiographical work An Odd Boy
Shortly we'll be posting images of the first set of Blues Masters works on the Blogsite - and they will be available for sale here, as well as being hung for viewing and sale at Aro Ling some time in the summer, when volume two of An Odd Boy is launched.  These images are a collection of works, that have been extensively recoloured and restored by Rinpoche using a host of tools available through the wonder that is Photoshop.  Up until this point they were only visible via Facebook, but thanks to the work of Lama Shardrol's sangha in the USA, they are now available on canvas.

Some of the source images were black and white, or of very low resolution, and have been touched up, sharpened and refined.  The Jimi Hendrix image was in fact sourced from a photograph of an original painting by Rinpoche himself - and again has been retouched for the Blues Masters collection.  Each image has had something like 60 to 100 hours of work put into it, before being printed to canvas in medium and large scale, for hanging.

Images include a host of Blues artists from both the USA, and also from the British Blues boom.  Where images were cut or cropped, instruments have been restored from scratch by adding them from other photographic sources from the period.  Friends and relatives of many of the Blues artists pictured have been good enough to get in touch with Rinpoche and express their appreciation of the work that has gone into bringing these performers to life.  Now they will be made available for public sale - with 100% of the proceeds going to charity.

The most ambitious part of the Blues Master project will appeal to fans of An Odd Boy.  Amongst the images there are several restored pictures of the band Savage Cabbage - in which Rinpoche himself played. As no extant image of the band on stage could be found, these works have required sourcing faces, bodies and instrument images from a host of different sources - including Rinpoche's son - a bass player himself - providing a body double for the performers in their stage poses.

The next two posts will catalogue the currently-available Blues Masters and Calligraphy images that are available to buy - and will detail how supporters of the appeal can get these unique works to hang upon their walls at home.