Flower of Compassion
Japanese sumi ink & multi-coloured India ink on heavy watercolour paper
This artwork which I've named: “Flower of Compassion,” was created as an auction piece as a fundraiser for ***True Colors, a local non-profit which provides services, advocacy, education, and a youth center in support of LGBTQIA+ youth.
***expanded explanation at bottom
ཁ་དོག་དུ་མ།What manifested to me in this piece resembled a graphic representation of a flower. The original plan was to scribe the words “True Colors” however, as it’s not a typical phrase used in Tibetan, so I chose to scribe the phrase (KHA DOK DU MA ཁ་དོག་དུ་མ།) meaning “many colors/multi colored.”
Perhaps an unusual usage of the term however, I’ve composed it in a Tsugtung script style in each of the six colors of the Pride flag, making up the outer pedals of the flower. In this way, on many levels, it expresses the many (true) colors and values of the LGBTQ community.
Moving inward I have scribed a verse in a quick writing script style called, Khyug, from the 11th Century master, Atisha, reading: “Those who long to put a complete end To all the sufferings of others Through the sufferings of their own experience- Individuals such as these are supreme.”
This verse came to mind as I watched our city commissioners vote to halt State funding to True Colors after listening to the many voices of those sharing their painful experiences and expressed a unanimous wish to keep True Colors in operation, not only for themselves but for the benefit of anyone needing a space to feel safe and seen.
Lastly, the heart of the flower, is the word “Compassion” written in a Druptsa script style, surrounded by a halo of Gold Mica Pigment.
A simple word, but a reminder that compassion should be at the heart of our every action, and most certainly is at the heart of the True Colors community.
***True Colors was one of many non-profits which received funds directly from the State's alcohol tax, the extremely conservative led City Commissioners passed a majority vote to revoke the distribution of state funding that was essential in keeping the organization operating.
Many appealed the decision as governmental overreach and discriminatory, and have questioned local interference of state distributed funds.
Within days following the decision by the city commission, the community came together in support of True Colors and organized an auction to help make up the funds that were taken from them. The funds raised far exceeded the original $10,000 of state funds.