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Myths, Magic and Legends of Sand Art: 09/20/09
Myths, Magic and Legends of Sand Art by Suzanne Lord is a short art history book aimed at elementary school children. It teaches about sand and how it has been used by a variety of different cultures in art and spiritual practices.
The parts of the book that fascinated me most were the comparisons between Buddhist mandalas and Navajo sand paintings. The book also talks about artistic representation vs. spiritual representation of traditional iconographies.
Real mandalas and real sand paintings are temporary. The creation of them is a spiritual event and as part of the process they must be dismantled.
The pieces created for artistic consumption (to be hung on walls) are based on traditional forms but will be slightly different. The forms might be drawn with key features changed or the colors will be altered. How exactly they are changed isn't disclosed.
At the end of the book there are suggested sand based art projects: sand pictures, greeting cards, frames, layered sand designs, pins, castings and textured painting.
If anything, I want the book to be longer. There are so many fascinating details about sand art and this slim volume is just an introduction to the topic.