“When nothing looked familiair….my surroundings, choices I made and the person staring back at me in the mirror….there was no recognition, I started to ask myself the questions: “Who am I? What am I? Where am I?” With those questions in my pocket a journey began. With little steps and big dreams I started walking, walking my very own path, inspired by life itself to find my way home”.
‘Finding Dhyana in a leftover universe where tender time sighs’
Diana van der Harst, ‘Dhyana’, the creator of ‘Leftover Universe’ draws inspiration for her remarkable range of work from her own life experience and from those beings; human, animal, plant and invisible, that surround her. Her love of all of life in its richness and variety has blossomed into the body of work that continues to evolve. Her work is intuitive, contemplative, spiritual, whimsical, harmonious, unique and poetic.
“My work would not be the same without my inner and outer travels, the inspiration drawn from the beauty of nature surrounding us, music, my daily Yoga, Meditation & Chanting, singing, the people and animals in my life, my garden, my continuing studies of Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spirituality, Science, Nature and my interest in Ancient & Indigenous Cultures, People and most of all….it wouldn’t be the same without Love!”
While change and impermanence is the essence of the universe, Leftovers remind us that all is in constant transformation. Nothing is ever gained and nothing is ever lost. Where one ends another comes alive. Acknowledging this truth enables Dhyana to shape the transformation without seeking to cling to permanence.
In a Leftover Universe Dhyana aims to create sustainable, handmade, soul friendly products that don’t harm our environment which is the essence of the self. Therefore natural materials are used as much as possible as well as leftovers to up-cycle the old.
“This world is full of leftovers and instead of disregarding them Leftover Universe believes in embracing and upgrading them. Radiating heart energy and breathing new life into the lost.”
Working on a picture book, unique characters have emerged from her inner life and now take on a life of their own through her work. Each character represents an archetype that will resonate with all who intuitively seek to appreciate and understand her work.
Dhyana uses a range of mediums including Painting, Drawing, Photography, Illustration, Poetry, Graphics, Ceramics, Textile Art and Fashion & Textile Design thus creating a range of works that include functional objects such as pottery, blankets, cushions and bags each bearing the unique attributes of her style.
‘I think we ought to surround ourselves with objects that actually mean something, products that have a story to tell. That way we don’t lose our cultural and personal mythologies and we create positive energies in our surroundings. An object made with love and care becomes a talisman and holds the power to make a little part of this world a better place’.
Ancient craft techniques are highly valued in a Leftover Universe. Their deep history speak a language of their own and are kept alive by using them in contemporary ways.
Dhyana began exhibiting her work in 2004 and since then has had exhibitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Tokyo, Kyoto, Melbourne and Perth. During a masterclass in the Netherlands in 2007 the Japanese designer Akira Minagawa offered her an opportunity to exhibit in his Tokyo store (minä perhonen), which took place in 2009. That exhibition lead to four more solo exhibitions in Kyoto in the years following.
“My love for Japanese culture – for how they value silence, their art and design aesthetics and the way they approach life – is ever-growing and greatly influences my work.”
“The wholeness of my work is about and inspired by life itself. Questioning who, where and what we are and the things we come across while finding our ways through this forest, this puzzling maze we call life. Like breathing I constantly shift my focus from going inwards to outwards, from studying things up-close to things far away, from observing the small to observing the vast…with one of the primary purposes: making connections. Once you join this adventure you see more and more that it is all the same…like they say ‘as above so below’. It is a journey I find so utterly enriching and inspiring that it keeps feeding my soul, my spirit, my work. “
All material on this blog is copyrighted and not to be used without permission. All rights reserved. © 2019 Diana van der Harst