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Phil Sugden





Pages from the Manual on Dismantling God



Friday,  February 21 and


Saturday, February 22


6:00 - 9:00 pm











Pages from the Manual on Dismantling God:


directions toward the unfolding present



My journey has been a slow transformation in how I perceive my connection to the universe. This installation re-examines that journey of unfolding interconnection.


Each page was an effort to explore and re-discover meaning in the imagery I have created over the years. Some are based on location drawings from travels to Nepal, Tibet, India France, and other destinations. Based on literature and books that have influenced my artwork, the text includes the Dead Sea Scrolls, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Buddhist scriptures, physics formulas, musical notations, etc. The languages include Devanagari Sanskrit; Peshitta Aramaic; Greek; Tibetan; Vulcan; binary code; and others.


The arrangement of the installation is based on the circle as an archetype of universality and wholeness—thus acting as a pilgrimage space for viewers to circumambulate the interior of this artistic mandala. There are twenty-one pages numbered in order of primes and hung in the order of chance after throwing the I-Ching to determine the position for each piece.


Each page has seven leaves. The length and width of each page was decided by using phi, the ratio 1.618, or the Golden Ratio. The paper—handmade Himalayan Daphne—used by Buddhist monasteries for woodblock printed prayer books and mantras was transported from Himalayan villages and Kathmandu.


Individual, unframed pages are available for $1,600.








Reliquia Dei is a signed and numbered artifact, distributed with the Manual exhibit. Within the round gold box is a true relic of God—a mustard seed wrapped in a piece of handmade Himalayan Daphne paper, on which a universal mantra of peace has been hand written.


The 21 sealed relics have been consecrated with prayers and smudging by Thomas McDonald, Pastor of the Great Peace Native Fellowship Church in Findlay. The container is sealed, according to Christian tradition, suggesting that one cannot have direct contact with the mystery of God.


The relic—a mustard seed—is a symbol of the creative, living energy of the universe that appears in allegories, belief systems, and religious traditions worldwide.


Handmade Himalayan Daphne paper is used to make prayer books and flags as well as the paper blessings for Buddhist rituals in the monasteries of Tibet, Nepal, and India.


The series numbers 73, significant as the twenty-first prime and the number of pages in the Manual. It is also an archetypal number, signifying both completion and the religious trinity.