Nan Watanabe, “Sacred Spaces”


Cover plus pages


Book when open


Detail of interwoven accordion


Top view of structure


Side view


Artist: Nan Watanabe (Novato, CA)

Title: Sacred Spaces (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Paper, acrylic inks, photomontage

Dimensions, open: 3 3/8″ x 2 1/8″ x 2 1/8″

Dimensions, closed: 3 3/8″ x 2 1/8″ x 1/2″


Artist statement:

Sacred Spaces is an expression of appreciation and gratitude for sacred lands across this country and the world. I began to notice that sacred mountains had similar shapes. It seemed that this was no accident.

The places depicted in the photomontage accordion structure include The Grand Tetons, Machu Picchu, Iao Needle on the island of Maui, Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California, Pedernal in New Mexico, and Yellowstone National Park.

These sacred places amplify qualities of beauty, grandeur, stillness, and grace. Their presence encourages the Human Spirit to listen deeply to the wisdom of the earth and the compassion of the heart.

The prayer flags send silent prayers on the breath of the wind. The prayer is amongst the oldest of the Buddhist mantras. The six-syllable mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion reads, “Om Mani Padme Hung!” In this book, the prayer flags send blessings and spirals of compassion out into the world.

The inside covers of the book hold the word “love” delivered through the air and visually in Morse code. The dots and dashes become recognizable once context is established just as intention establishes the context for Sacred Spaces.