Expert Staging Preparations Nearing Completion
A crucial step in readying the Thangka for display was undertaken late November. Members cleaned the floor of the Caulfield Recreation Centre as never before, and the Thangka was unfurled to access the bottom of the vast canvas to add extra length for staging.
How Do You Get A Close-Up Look At A Painting That Is 4 Storeys High?
That was the task facing Tara Insitute when it was time to inspect a painting so huge that it has never been seen whole — even by the artist who painted it.
The genius answer was to roll it out on an indoor basketball court.
But the thangka is a lot more than a simple painting; even one that is so huge. The 21 Taras Thangka is a sacred, devotional icon used for meditiation as well as for display and wonder. It really needed to be treated with respect and care.
A team of volunteers diligently cleaned the court until it was suitable to accept the unrolling but first it had to be transported from Tara Institute and that required a long, semi-trailer truck and another team of lifters.
Even Lying On Its Back The Thangka Is Enormous!
A basketball court is no small space, so it was very impressive to see the thangka covering most of the floor.
Traditionally, thangkas are surrounded with ornate brocades and this was the only way that craftsmen could measure it for its final trimmings. This really is an event unfolding.