I was tasked with creating two posters based around the theme of dusk – it was allowed to be as creative and abstract as we could make it, so long as it could be related back to the theme. I started the process by researching into the theme, making sure to look into anything that popped into my head. I ended up becoming interested in the significance of dusk within different religions; these included Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. I found the way it related to Buddhism to be the most visually interesting and so I began looking into a story from the Buddha’s life. As the Buddha neared enlightenment, he began meditating under the ‘Bodhi Tree’ – not to rise until he had attained his goal. As dusk fell, the chief of demons – Devaputra Mara, appeared to him and tried to distract the Buddha’s meditation by conjuring up apparitions of fire, demons, and various weapons. However, the Buddha remained unaffected by Mara’s efforts, through the strength of his concentration, the evil apparitions appeared to him as fragrant flowers and visions of rainbow lights. By the morning, he had become a fully enlightened being, having conquered the chief of demons by never succumbing to his distractions and lifting the ‘final veils of ignorance’.
For my posters I took elements of this story and represented them with a mosaic/stain glass illustration style – this was due, in part, to an inspiration I found in an illustration I found by Tom Clohosy Cole. It featured a lovely, bright mosaic being looked upon by a young boy shrouded in shadow, which brought forth the idea of separate sides, or stories, within the illustration. Another reason I went with this style was because of the religious connection, my first thought would be of Christian churches with grand windows telling important stories from the Bible with the differently coloured pieces showing the elements and emotions of the tales.
My first poster features an interpretation of what the Buddha was seeing through his meditation instead of the evil apparitions. The flowers included can all be found in India, where the Bodhi tree was located, and are known for their fragrance – these include a rose, a couple types of jasmine, sweet peas, and a lesser known flower named the kewda. The colours of the chosen flowers are intended to be realistic and bright, with the background colours coming from the colour of the sky during early dusk.
The second shows the chaos that ensued during Mara’s attempts at distracting the Buddha, the flames surround the Buddha and most of the mosaic showing the intensity of evil the chief of demons was trying to bring, with the figures with weapons underneath poised to attack. The Buddha himself is featured near the top, at the centre with a sort of protective bubble around him to show that he remains unaffected by these efforts. The colours of the fire and Buddha figure are meant to be close to realistic with the background colours showing a darker stage of dusk.