Sometimes drawing a circle ⭕️ might be the most challenging thing to draw. Even though most of you think that is so god damn simple right?
Experimenting with Ensos
In Zen, ensō (円相 , "circle") is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create (wikipedia).
I got interested in representing the circle of enso as part of my mindfulness processes as the hand must be completely steady and the mind completely concentrated to draw a perfect circle. But even if not perfect, the circle also reflects a current, momentary state of mind, be it agitation, hope, unease or mellowness. So, I like to embrace that imperfection as well as a trace of a fleeting state of being. This is related to the idea of wabi-sabi, deriving from Zen Buddhism, that is, the beauty of imperfection.
According to wikipedia , the ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). It is characterised by a minimalism born of Japanese aesthetics.
My circles may be open or closed. When the circle is incomplete, it symbolises allowing for movement and development as well as the perfection of all things.
When the circle is closed, it represents perfection, just as the circle was used through the centuries to represent cosmological models, or the finished, perfect creation.Usually, I draw the ensō in one mindful outbreath, striving for a single fluid, expressive stroke. Once the ensō is drawn, I rarely change it, unless i want to create several layers of ensos or a couple of circles that corresponds with one another.
For me drawing the ensos is not just part of my art but also a deep spiritual practice.
Today I gave my self one more task. To draw the rainbow in the shape of an enso, which by the way is it’s actual shape. Yes, you might not know but rainbows are actually round if we could only see them whole. But anyway, how a rainbow actually is and what it means you can look up yourself! Have a great day!
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Sophia Hadjipapa-Gee, is an artist and academic, living in Cyprus. Sophia is Associate Professor and a board member of the Research laboratory “Cultural Studies and Contemporary Arts”. She is also one of the founding members of the International Motion Festival and has been serving at its board from various positions. Currently she is coordinator of Workshops and the Single Channel Award Committee. She has a BA in Painting from the National Academy of Arts of Sofia, where she also completed an MA degree, in Painting and a PhD in Art History and Theory. Besides painting she has worked on video art, interventions in Public spaces, participatory projects, illustrations of poems, covers of books and has been involved in Public art, which works have been presented in numerous international festivals and exhibitions.