A Series Starting Saturday, February 20
“Literacy” is the ability to interpret and create meaning from symbols in the form of letters and words. “Visual” extends the meaning beyond the printed word and is based on the notion that pictures can be “read”. “Buddhist” visual literacy goes one step further. It uses classic Buddhist teachings on perception and conception to unlock the power of Buddhist iconography and teaches us how to use this new found literacy to connect with the Buddhist path.
This nine week series alternates between illustrated presentations and hands-on virtual studio time (“exploratoriums”). Stephanie Johnston, a senior student of Ponlop Rinpoche and teacher at Nitartha Institute, will unpack the imagery that conveys the essence of the Wheel of Life: the first teaching thangka. How is meaning conveyed by symbols? How is the iconography relevant to the choices we make? How are the bodhisattva qualities of wisdom, compassion, and power evoked? Do these potent symbols resonate with us personally?
As we approach this visual depiction of the paths of confusion and wisdom with fresh eyes and mind, we’ll have an opportunity to experience it in a new and creative way, revealing its relevance to lived experience.
Everyone is welcome.
There is an option to sign up for just the illustrated presentations without the “exploratorium” workshops, and you need not be an artist to enjoy the “exploratoriums”.
February 20 Presentation
February 27 Workshop “Exploratorium”
March 6 Presentation
March 13 Workshop “Exploratorium”
March 20 Presentation
March 27 Workshop “Exploratorium”
April 3 Presentation
April 10 Workshop “Exploratorium”
April 17 Presentation
Stephanie Johnston, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner since 1985 and student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s since 1996, is Nitartha Institute faculty and developed its Science of Creativity and the Arts courses. As a graphic designer and avid practitioner, she trains and supports practice instructors for Nalandabodhi. An alumni of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and certified in Museum studies, Renaissance Art Techniques, and Graphic Design, she loves digging into the symbolic and its applied meaning in art and everyday life.
Julia Linderova is an artisan of many mediums. She has studied fine arts at Langara College, as well as studying under Stephanie Johnston and RD Salga, a renowned master of the Karma Gadri tradition of thangka painting. She aspires to further study thangka painting with RD Salga, which she has done irregularly for 4 years. Julia has also worked with Stephanie at Nitartha Summer Institute as her studio assistant, as well as facilitating a class on the basics of thangka painting.
Studying thangka painting she feels will facilitate her desire to be an artist, while preserving the ancient technique of thangka painting, and incorporate it into the modern world, authentically as well as in her own creative visions.