BY TABITHA MOSES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS
DISPLAYED ON THE SQUASH BUILDING FROM SPRING EQUINOX TO WINTER SOLSTICE 2022
During 2021, artist Tabitha Moses rooted around the green spaces and gardens of Windsor Street, chatting to gardeners and thinking about the healing potential of plants. At the turning of each season, she has lead on the creation of spring, summer, autumn and winter mandalas*.
The first, hand-embroidered during spring lockdown, shows the blossoms of fruit grown on Windsor Street. The second, summer flowers and third, autumn seeds artworks were made collaboratively, during more sociable times by visitors to the Grapes Community Food Garden.
*”A mandala, which means circle in Sanskrit, is a symbolic design used in some spiritual traditions to represent the universe or provide a focus for meditation. The eight-pointed Windsor Street mandalas represent the cyclical nature of life and death as well as the days and seasons. Marking the seasons by making mandalas connects us to people across time – our farming ancestors whose lives followed a seasonal pattern – and space – the followers of the Eastern traditions where mandalas originated.The making of a mandala – whether by sewing or drawing shapes or by placing objects – is a calming, meditative activity in itself.
During this process I may not worry too much about how the final thing will look; I just enjoy losing myself in the making. It helps to empty my mind of the background chatter, focusing on the repetitive actions of sewing or drawing. In this way I create space in my head and in my day; space where thoughts and feelings can quietly arise. I have never made a mandala I consider to be perfect – there is always something spurring me on to make the next one and the variations are endless.
One of my favourite memories of this year is the group dismantling of the autumn seed mandala. As each seed was placed back in its pot, ready for planting, the mandala gradually disappeared. Its fleeting beauty a reminder not to get too attached to the things around us.”
Tabitha embroidered the years final mandala in the Front Room of Squash on the winter solstice, 21st December, between dawn and dusk, considering the growth and decay of the season. An 8 hour playlist of winter sounds that accompanied the sewing, compiled by co-director Clare Owens, with suggestions from Roger Hill and the Squash team, can be heard here.