Mission: TO BRING COLOURFUL ARTWORK AND FUNKY JEWELLERY INTO EVERYONE’S LIFE
One of the great things about starting The Spiralling is that already I’ve started to meet people because of it. Holly and I have never met but our mutual friend put us in touch and she has been a strong Spiralling supporter from the start.
Art has always been a part of Holly’s life. She thoroughly enjoyed it in school and admired the works of Escher, Salvador Dali and H.R Giger. It was whilst she was at college that she started drawing mandalas. “I saw a tattoo design I liked and wanted to have a go at drawing it. So once I’d drawn a circle, split it into 8 and then 16, drew myself some centimetre spaces circles within that and began drawing. It took me about 3 days to complete this A3 drawing with lots of dotwork.” This was the start of Nattymandalas and the first of at least 300 completed paintings and drawings.
Holly developed her style with Posca pens which were recommended by her tattoo artist friend Ian Moore from This Old Skin in Norfolk. “He became sort of my tutor and helped me develop my style whilst drawing these mind bending patterns! I tend to paint in acrylics on canvas boards as they are sturdy. I also like to use a lot of glitter glue, jewels and gold leaf to catch the sun in my work. I’ve always been fascinated with the way stained glass captures light and the way it glistens, so I’ve tried to incorporate that element into my work.” Through a lot of hard work, squinting and many thousands of cups of tea (“Several times I’ve mistaken my tea for my brush water and vice versa. But I’m sure there’s other artists out there who’ve done that… right?!”) Holly has created many paintings and drawings, yet all of them different from each other.
Creating this sort of art presents a challenge. “Everyday is a struggle to come up with something no-one has seen before, not only in my work, but in the millions of other mandalas artists draw everyday!” She is inspired by the “geometric and abstract works of artists like Tomas Tomas, Corey Divine, Little Swastika and Cryptik, who mixes mantra and Sanskrit writing into beautiful elegant, spiralling art!” Freank Manseed is a dotwork artist who also inspires Holly for his use of the swastika.
The swastika is a sacred symbol that has been used in many religions around the world for thousands of years. The swastika’s 4 arms represent the aspects of nature; sun, wind, water, and soil. Some say they represent the four seasons, where the 90-degree sections correspond to the solstices and equinoxes. In Buddhism the swastika is said to be a graphical representation of eternity, and in Hinduism it is used to represent the four directions of the world – the four faces of Brahma (God). It also represents the Purushartha: Dharma (natural order), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (liberation). “It’s a beautiful symbol to work with not only in the way it looks, but it mathematically works beautifully into mandalas.”
Not content with just drawing and painting she also likes to make her own jewellery influenced by her time in Africa and Australia. “My mum taught me how to make jewellery when I was very little. She even bought me my first jewellery tools when I was 15 which I still use to this day!” She wanted to create her own style of ethnic jewellery to wear and has produced some beautiful pieces. “My art keeps me positive and focuses my energy into something creative which I can look at and enjoy. Plus if people like how I decide to express myself, then that’s just a bonus.”
In the future Holly hopes to work on some larger areas. “Working on shoes and jackets is all fun and games, but I’d like to decorate an entire wall! I think my proudest moment to date has to be working on my biggest canvas and getting it bang on central first time. Even if I didn’t paint the background first, which I should have done, it still came out one of my favourite pieces to this day!”
You can purchase one of Nattymandalas Spiralling t-shirts (picture on the right) from the Etsy shop here. Follow her progress at the links below as she posts a new piece of work pretty much daily.