Electronic Prayer Wheels?

About My Prayer Wheels

Title: "Top Plate"

Initially inspired by a recent visit to Odiyan
Where the Lama, Tarthang Tulku, wanted to update the turning of prayer wheels, so he motorized them! And then even backed up the local utility company with generators. I seem to recall that there were 1200 prayer wheels at this site, all turning and each with about a mile of paper prayers rolled up inside making over a thousand miles of written prayers. I could just feel the good energy being propagated into the ether. The fact that the site over looked the Pacific Ocean with a great view helped as well.

Title: "Checkerboard"

Interest in making a participatory piece
I wanted this series of work to live on, and not just be my sculpture, in a way so that I wouldn't be tempted to steal parts from them for newer pieces, later on. I tend to do this and wanted to make things which had some kind of input from others thus belonging to more than just me. So the idea of asking friends to make drawn "prayers" in the formats which fit inside my prayer wheels came to me. This is an ongoing project and the work won't be comlete until this part is accomplished.

Title: "67 X 18"

Using objects saved from past experiences
The central object around which each of these three prayer wheels was constructed , was a small section of 4 by 4 left over from building my studio. My two best friends, also artists, and I built the studio and the experience was important for many reasons. It was the first studio I had ever both designed and built and it was designed around discarded windows from the building where I teach, Analy Hall. So the studio had a connection to my work life as well as my creative life.

John Watrous, artist
April 1997

Updated: 5 April 1997

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