Prayer flags have been ceremoniously displayed as a symbol of cooperation and celebration of co-existence with the natural world and the realm of the spirit. The Tibetans, for example, used prayer flags with symbolic iconography and prayers written in Sanskrit to be carried by the wind to the upper realms. It was another way to connect with those forces beyond sight and beyond human control. The prayer generally asked for peace and good fortune for all creatures great and small.
I adapted the prayer flag concept for this series for urban gardens to remind those who garden that we are a part of nature and not the controller of it. The flags are in both horizontal and vertical formats. The horizontal flags are hung in the traditional way, with either end tied onto something to maintain the horizontal effect. The vertical flags are designed to slip onto bamboo poles to be inserted in the ground or in containers.
All flags are made from sturdy cotton and hand dyed and imprinted with images I’ve created based on medicinal plants of the midwestern US area. A prayer is printed on either the front or back of the flags.
My other flag series have images from the garden animal world or of geometric elements found in nature. Hopefully they will add bold color to urban gardens as well as serve as a reminder to all caretakers of the land that we are a part of a living system based on co-operation and harmony. Source: Ruby Barnes, Artist
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Ruby Barnes believes in the healing power of the plant world. She has studied plant spirit medicine with Peruvian shamans for 10 years and started a landscape design business just to put her plant knowledge to practical use. She is a painter and muralist. This prayer flag series symbolizes the magic and potential power that results from our connection to and interaction with the natural world.
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