Anitya is a series of new prints by Inside Out artist John G. Swogger. The prints are being exhibited in Mike Coppock’s gallery space in Rowanthorn Fair Trade shop and gallery on Beatrice St. in Oswestry between August and December, 2012. There are five prints in the series, and a new print will be exhibited each month.

Anitya is a sanskrit word meaning “impermanence”. Impermanence is one of the three “marks of existence” in Buddhism, and the term Anitya is used to describe the state of constant flux of all things in the universe. Human life – with its ever-changing process of birth, ageing, death (and in Buddhism, then rebirth) – is seen as an embodiment of this principle. Anitya can also be used to refer to any experience of loss.

This concept of impermanence is related to the Buddhist doctrine which states that things have no fixed nature, essence or self – because all phenomena are in a state of flux and therefore impermanent.

John’s prints explore this concept of impermanence in relation to traditional Buddhist culture, present and past, and western documentary photography of Tibet, Nepal and the Himalayas. The prints also draw heavily on his work as an archaeological illustrator.

“Our present is built from the bones of the past.

As an archaeologist, my work is based in this present/past. This material and phenomenological landscape is not simply shaped by history, it is part of the very fabric of all that has gone before. The ordinary content of our lives are all part of a continuum of the past manifested within our present.

My original inspiration for this series of prints was the Himalayan material in Rowanthorn itself. My art is based as much on ideas as on visual impressions, so these prints are a creative response to both the ideas and visuals that sparked that original inspiration.”

from the exhibition notes

Catalogue of Prints

There are five prints, each one titled in reference to the five aggregates (skandhas) – the various forms of impermanence. The prints are on display exclusively in Rowanthorn until the end of their month’s exhibition, at which point the print will also be posted here along with some discussion. Each print is related both visually and thematically to the other four in the series as shown in the diagram:

August

Form (rupa)
Digital print, 30x30cm

September

Sensation (vedana)
Digital print, 30x30cm

October

Perception (samjna)
Digital print, 30x30cm

November

Impulse (samskara)
Digital print, 30x30cm

December

Consciousness (vijnana)
Digitial print, 30x30cm

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