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Andy Harper 'The Mandalas'

Ani­ma Mun­di is delight­ed to present The Man­dalas’ by Andy Harp­er, a solo exhi­bi­tion of ecsta­t­i­cal­ly vibrant, con­tem­pla­tive painting.

Anima Mundi is delighted to present 'The Mandalas' by Andy Harper, a celebratory solo exhibition of ecstatically vibrant, contemplative painting.

Despite ancient and numerous theological associations a mandala is traditionally seen as representative of reality, as lived. It is often a representation of wholeness and a model to aid reflection on the organizational structure of life itself. A form of diagram that shows our relation to the infinite that extends beyond and within various minds & bodies from the micro to the macro. The microcosm / macrocosm analogy refers to a perennial view which posited a structural similarity between ‘us' and the ‘cosmos' as a whole where truths about the nature of the cosmos may be inferred from truths about our human nature, and vice versa. German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz stated that “this interconnection or accommodation of all created things to each other, and each to all the others, brings it about that each simple substance has relations that express all the others, and consequently, that each simple substance is a perpetual, living mirror of the universe.” It is a grasping of this sense of oneness, that can be both expressed and experienced through this form. The re-introduction of mandalas into modern Western thought is largely credited to psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. In his exploration of the unconscious through art, Jung observed the common appearance of a circle motif across religions and cultures. He hypothesized that’s own circle drawings reflected the mind's inner state at the moment of creation and were a kind of symbolic archetype in the collective unconscious.

Although there may be a relationship between these theoretical standpoints and the works exhibited, Harper hasn’t been deliberately led by them. Instead, it is through the act of praxis, where thought and intuition meet through the hand, that discovery can occur. He states that “there is a system to the paintings production but this network of marks and calculations have to be capable of catching a poetry that creates its own self contained world, a world within a world…a cycle within a cycle”. I am reminded of Isaac Asimov who wrote in his book ’Second Foundation’ that “a circle has no end.”

Joseph Clarke, 2023


Andy Harper lives in St Just, the most westerly town in Cornwall and works from a studio at the renowned Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. He studied his BA in Fine Art: Painting & Printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic and then MA Fine Art: Painting at the Royal College of Art, London. In 1996, with some peers from the RCA, Harper co-founded NotCut which ran a studio and photographic darkroom in London and curated ‘Lightness & Weight’ in Birmingham. During this time he also studied part time at Middlesex University for an MA in Visual Culture and had his first solo exhibition in London in 1998. After attending the Braziers International Artist Workshop in 2000, Harper became a member of the organising committee until 2008. Harper has taught in many institutions nationally and internationally, and had teaching posts at Central St. Martins, The City Lit and is currently a Senior Lecturer on the MFA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. Harper has exhibited widely in Europe, North America and
South Korea.

Join us for the Preview event of two simultaneously opening exhibitions, Andrew Litten's 'The Human Shadow (The Animal Smile)', and Andy Harper's 'The Mandalas' on Friday 14th July, 6.30 - 8.30 pm.

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