Nepali Mandala Art at the Southbank Alchemy Festival, London

As a part of the 200 years of Bicentenary celebration of Nepal and British bilateral relation, British Council Nepal initiated the site specific mandala art exhibition in the Alchemy Festival at the Southbank Centre, London.

Three artists- Deepak Kumar Joshi, Prachanda Shaky and Nima Gyamcho Lama took part in the special residency at the Alchemy Festival from 13-24 May and created site specific mandala art throughout the residency. Huge audience from London and across the UK interacted with the artists and learned techniques and meaning behind this ancient art form of Nepal while the artists were working on the art pieces. A total of 18 art pieces were developed during the residency which also included school specific workshops.

The participation in the festival was a great opportunity for the people of the UK to learn about this ancient art form which had never been exhibited at the festival and for the promotion of the Nepali art in the UK. This is the first time that Nepal was showcased at the festival. The highlights of the residency were the first and the last piece of work which measured around 20x20ft. The first mandala was the backdrop of the inauguration of the festival and the last one was developed with the input of all the audience visiting the festival. The interaction and learning were valued by both the audience and the artists.

The three artists felt honoured by the level of interest in the Mandala art and the inquisitiveness of the visiting audience. It was a type of festival they had never attended before.

This initiative is dedicated to the launching of the whole year of bicentenary celebration of the bilateral relationship between Nepal and Britain. This is one of the numerous activities scattered throughout the year at different locations in London and Nepal to mark the celebration.