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CSAD Student Creates Meditation-Inspired Finals Artwork



Third year CSAD Fine Art student Sarah Thomas, has spent the past four weeks drawing tiny circular shapes on the floor and wall outside B Block's main office, as part of her final Degree Show submission.

Sarah has become a regular sight at the spot, where she has been drawing consistently in order to demonstrate her dedication to the notion of  mindfulness and meditation.

Since she began, her drawing has grown across the wall and floor and Sarah, 26, says: "Like the process of meditation, I focus on the circles and when they happen to go wonky and I notice my focus has drifted slightly, I return my attention to the circles, with patience, in the same way we learn to focus on our breath during meditation."

Sarah draws in charcoal and by hand and has been heavily influenced by Eastern philosophies including Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism.  She has also hosted meditation and mindfulness workshops to accompany her drawing and said: "The repetition of the work is to focus myself. It is used as a meditative process, is unplanned, not manipulated and I like to think it grows organically, without judgement.

"The impermanence of the drawing reflects the impermanence of all things - like a negative thought or material goods, it lends itself to the practice of non-attachment and letting go.

"This is not a traditional art object - it is not sellable and won't last long, which again lends it towards the philosophies of non-attachment, anti-materialism, anti-consumerist and anti-ego."

Sarah began doodling when she was in the first year and says: "Over the year, the patterns have developed to become something more.

"As my research developed, I found more and more artists who did similar things, entering a flow-like state through a repetition of patterns, lines and mark making.

"I don't have a definitive finishing point in mind as this could go on forever. I value the idea that it is something that can keep on growing and changing.

"The circles started with my doodling, although there were originally lots of different shapes and patterns, circles seem to be the shape that felt the nicest to draw. It is complete in one smooth motion and can be interpreted as an enzo or big circle which monks traditionally draw to focus on during meditation. It helped focus my breathing while drawing - one circle on inhale and one circle on exhale."