Only 44 days to go till White Night 2018! Thanks to all the donors and volunteers who have cooperatively caused Lama Zopa’s ENORMOUS gift of joy and optimism, our own 21 Taras Thangka, to be revealed in Melbourne so soon; first exhibition and first time the artist himself, master thangka painter Peter Iseli, will see it in full. Awe and gratitude for the devotion of Cynthia Karena and Mark Allaway in particular.
Can the gigantic 21 Taras Thangka even get through the doors into Hamer Hall? We tested yesterday, with a crew of willing volunteers, led by Mark Allaway, Logistics Guru for the 21 Taras Thangka. YES! is the joyous answer.
Merry Christmas wishes from Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne’s Concert Hall, home of the 21 Taras Thangka for White Night February 17 2018. Happy Hannukah, happy holidays from everyone at Tara Institute!
We’re thrilled to announce that Tara Institute’s stunning 21 Taras thangka will be displayed at Melbourne’s White Night arts festival, throughout the night from 7pm to 7am on Saturday, 17 February 2018. More here, at the White Night website.
Artist Peter Iseli will be here for White Night. It will be his first chance to see the completed thangka in full — after working on it for four years close up!
Tara Institute members have been working tirelessly behind the scenes for months, preparing the Thangka for safe storage, transport and display, applying for White Night, enthusing the selectors, exploring White Night venues large enough to display our gigantic treasure in Melbourne’s summer festival of light and art.
Thanks especially go to Cynthia Karena and Mark Allaway for all your energy and determination.
Here we are spreading the word at a wonderful December 1 Amitofo charity event sponsored by Kim, Christine, Candice and Yen, at the Box Hill Town Hall, in the company of Sangha, TI students and Nyung Na practitioners.
Our 21 Taras Logo was the most exciting sponsor logo by far…
Thanks Kim Looi and Christine Lam for your big hearts!
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.