I am an Archaeologist and Artist that works with animal skulls. I process the skulls and then paint elaborate patterns that honour the life of the animal.

This work with skulls is incredibly healing for me and allows me to reflect on the fragility of life and how interconnected everything is. When I start the mandala, I do not plan the pattern, instead I let the lines flow naturally and in a state of deep relaxation. I often dream of the animals that I am working on and allow that to guide my artistic process further.

After visiting India in 2013, I began creating mandalas using gold ink. Mandalas are a geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. Eventually, these mandalas laced the skulls that I accumulated legally and ethically from taxidermists, hunters, trappers and navigating forest trails.

These skulls would otherwise have been discarded and I wanted to honour the animals by painting intricate patterns on them. My art combines other elements in nature including crystals, moss and wooden frames. Essence of Ash celebrates the life that once ignited the skulls and it explores realms of consciousness through meditation during mandala making.

More info: essenceofash.com