Mandala Collection for International Women's Day

SIT & WONDER CO-DESIGN A MANDALA PENDANT WITH GLOBAL ARTIST AND YOGI, LARA ZILIBOWITZ, DONATING $5 FROM EACH SALE TO ONE GIRL.

In support of the International Women’s Day’s initiative to drive gender balance, Sit & Wonder have created a limited-edition design with internationally touring artist and yogi, Lara Zilibowitz.

$5 from each sale of this collection will be donated to One Girl a non-profit organisation seeking to eliminate gender inequality through harnessing the power of education to drive change for girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

We sit down with Sit & Wonder founder Emily Ko and artist Lara Zilibowitz to learn more about this collaboration…

How did this collaboration come about?

Emily: Gender inequality is such a rampant issue, especially in developing parts of the world, and I wanted to find a way to address it. After seeing Lara’s mesmerising mandala designs, I thought it would be beautiful to feature them on a piece of jewellery to symbolise the power of femininity, and also raise money for a cause to empower girls and women.

Lara: I was so honoured to be asked to collaborate with Emily for this cause! Over the past few years I have become passionate about supporting women to access their intuitive wisdom, unlock their strength and uncover their creative potential. These mandala pendants are talismans that stand for these precious jewels of empowerment hidden inside us all.

Lara, what is the mandala and why have you chosen it as a focus of your art?

Lara: A mandala is a symbol used in a lot of Eastern philosophy that represents wholeness: a cosmic diagram organised around a unifying centre point. It is a reminder of our relation to infinity, from microcosm to macrocosm.

These sacred universal patterns are used in the design of so much in our reality - from one cell dividing into two, to the way a flower blooms, to the great swirl of the galaxy.

What I have come to appreciate through my studies of yoga and creative exploration, is that we are nature too. And this is not so much spirituality as it is science! What is out there, exists also inside of us: a nerve branches the same way that trees do, the fluid inside flows the same way as the fluid outside. More than anything for me, ‘spirituality’ is revelling in the great truth that all of life contains the same chemical elements and vibrating molecules from the original big bang over 14 billion years ago. That’s what it means when physicists such as Carl Sagan say “we are made of star stuff.” We are the microcosm, a miniature copy, of that macrocosm, connected to the stars in an ever-unfolding process.

What is the significance of the mandalas you have designed in this collaboration?

Lara: The mandalas on the two sides of the same coin are a symbol of union between softness and strength, grace and power and the connection between the physical and our eternal aspects of our existence, that are inseparable by nature.

On the one side is a six-petalled lotus flower, a representation of the sacral chakra 'Svadhisthana'. This chakra governs our relationship to our female sexuality, our sensuality, our emotional intelligence and intuition. it is located at our womb centre and is the seat of feminine creative potential.

On the other side of the pendant is a symbolic reference to the thousand-petalled lotus flower of the crown chakra, 'Sahasrara'. This chakra, located just above the crown of the head, is our portal and connection to Mother Nature and the Divine. It is the meeting point between finite (the body and the ego) with infinite (the universe and soul).

Together these symbols can help us connect to the unbroken lineage of sisters, mothers and grandmothers that have come before us, helping to guide our path and navigate through the patriarchy into the new age of female emancipation and empowerment.

Emily: I also wanted the design to be ‘infinite’ in every sense, to really embody the concept of the mandala. That’s why we decided to have the chain loop through the centre of the pendant. This allows the pendant to move with the wearer, and since the design is double sided and symmetrical, there is no ‘right way up’ wherever it falls. It is always in perfect balance – which is what we’re hoping for in the future when it comes to gender inequality!

Why have you chosen One Girl to support?

Emily: One Girl is an incredible organisation that believes that education is the key to eliminating gender inequality, reducing poverty and creating a sustainable future. Education is something that we take for granted growing up in Australia, but in developing parts of the world, young girls are denied the opportunity to go to school simply because they are female. They’re in danger of being sold into marriage from as young as 11 years old or encounter barriers such as extreme poverty and early or forced pregnancy.

To find out how One Girl is empowering girls, visit www.onegirl.org.au

For information on Lara's art and yoga teachings, visit www.larazilibowitz.com

View the Mandala collection here.

I hope you feel inspired playing with your jewels, as you sit and wonder...

Emily Ko, Founder of Sit & Wonder