Special Edition of "Gitanjali and Beyond" devoted to Henri van Bentum's "Organiverse" mandalas and featuring a reading of the "Gitanjali" song offerings (poems) by Rabindranath Tagore

Cover of "Gitanjali and Beyond", Issue No. 7,  Rabindranath Tagore, Henri van Bentum

Today the Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies published its annual eJournal, "Gitanjali & Beyond", devoted to a project marrying the 100 Organiverse mandalas by Henri van Bentum (1929-2022) with the 'Song Offerings' (Gitanjali) of Rabindranath Tagore. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature for "Gitanjali".

The concept and production of this project was done by Henri's friend Brian W.E. Johnson, who reads Tagore's poems.
Brian W.E. Johnson

"Slow Art" in motion --- painting, poetry, and sound. This special issue of "Gitanjali and Beyond" comprises 221 pages and is intended to be studied quietly over time.

Here is the link. 

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Bashabi Fraser's Foreword:

"When Natasha van Bentum first wrote to me about her husband, Henri van Bentum’s 100 Mandalas (created in 1972) which have been recently structured as reflections on Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali poems, I was intrigued. I asked Natasha to send me samples of this project, and she was willing to send me the entire opus of Organiverse and Gitanjali.

The compositions, completed while Henri and Natasha lived on the island of Madeira, are done in pointillism in water colour. They are intricate and intense. The idea of mandalas with their Hindu and Buddhist symbolism, signify a universal search for release from suffering, reaching out towards an unutterable joy.

. . . Henri’s mandalas, with their perfect circular pattern, encompass and visualise worlds that unfold from the first blue representation of the pondering universe and go on to explore and explode in colours that come together like the rising sun, the colours of the rainbow, unfurling petals, swirling dreams, bursting stars, crystallising shapes which are infinite in their possibilities and suggestiveness, till the final ones that speak of life’s fulfilment reflected in the image of the rising sun, meditative and expectant in its promise of life’s continuity.

. . . Henri’s positive approach to life in spite of the many obstacles he encountered, his courage and success are apparent in these mandalas which defeat the idea of chaos with their cosmic energy that is both transformative and transporting. They represent life itself in its many manifestations and speak directly to the viewer with an appeal that is mesmerising.

    There is something sacred about their affirmation and celebration of life, a sense of inclusion that is compelling."

Organiverse mandala 23 of 100, Henri van Bentum
Watercolour on paper, 1972
Copyright (C) Estate of Henri van Bentum 

LINK TO FOREWORD AND THE FULL PROJECT: https://gitanjaliandbeyond.co.uk/2023/02/15/gitanjali-and-beyond-issue-7-special-issue-organiverse/

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