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SAMTEN KYIL , Tibetan Peace Garden Print E-mail
Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, Southwark, London, UK
 
Commissioned by
The Tibet Foundation in assoc. with the London Borough of Southwark, 1999
 
The Tibetan title SAMTEN KYIL translates as 'Place of Contemplation'. It is a major sculpture project in a prestigious location outside the Imperial War Museum in Central London.
 
  

Horsley was commissioned by the Tibet Foundation to design a monument that would symbolize the meeting of East and West, by bringing together contemporary western and traditional Tibetan imagery. His circular design, based on a fundamental Buddhist image, the Wheel of Dharma, was conceived as a framework in which these two different images could co-exist in visual harmony.
 
At the centre of the circle, set into black Kilkenny limestone, rests a bronze cast of the Kalachakra Mandala specially designed by Tibetan monks in India and then carved in plaster in the artists studio.
 
On the outer perimeter of the circle stand the four contemporary sculptures carved in Portland stone portraying the elements: Air, the gateway in the west; Fire in the north; Earth in the east; and Water in the south. The open arena represents the fifth element, Space. These five elements are held in Buddhism to constitute the basis of our whole existence: environment, life and consciousness.
 
Outside the arena is the Language Pillar on which is carved in English, Tibetan, Chinese and Hindi, a message for the Millennium by His Holiness the Dalai lama.
 
Horsley collaborated extensively with architect Guy Stansfeld in refining and developing his initial concept. 
 
The Garden was opened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 14th May 1999.
 
 
Material: Portland stone, Kilkenny Limestone, Dunhouse Grey Sandstone
Dimensions: Diameter 18 metres; Sculptures 2.5 x 2 x 0.5 metres