Capturing Ephemeral Beauty with Meredith Brower

July 16, 2019

Capturing Ephemeral Beauty with Meredith Brower

The beauty, symmetry and texture of Meredith Brower’s work will draw you in. The method behind her mandalas will enchant you. 

Three years ago, while taking her morning walk through her farm in Tiverton, Rhode Island, Meredith Brower started organizing nature, forming a mandala out of the materials the earth provided. It began as a meditative way to start the day, connecting to the wet grass beneath her feet, feeling the roughness of tree bark, touching the delicate petals of a flower that had broken off its stem. Each day for an entire year she continued this exercise in mindfulness. She admits that some of the mandalas were great; some were not, but there was something about these creations she wanted to explore. 

At first, Meredith considered keeping all the designs she made, but realized that pieces would fade and crumble as time passed and seasons changed. A professional photographer, Meredith decided to capture a photo of each mandala at the place where it was created. After immortalizing its image, she would toss everything back into nature, or simply walk away and leave it behind. It became an act of letting go, allowing her to honor the land, and leave a small footprint. 

This Lambs Ear Heart is one example of Meredith’s work, and was inspired by a friend who hinted at her love of Lambs Ear, a plant known for the seafoam green color and soft texture of its leaves. This was one of the first hearts she was inspired to make. 

After assembling the foraged material into the design pictured here, she sat with this mandala for an hour, not wanting to leave it or throw it back. “And then a big gust of wind came and blew half of it away,” she says with a laugh. “The only thing I can’t control is the wind."

Throwing the materials back into nature, or letting the wind sweep them away acknowledges the impermanence in our lives and in the world around us. And it’s this ephemeral beauty that Meredith captures in her work. 

Beyond the unique, aluminum wall hangings and note cards she creates out of her photographs, Meredith knew there was something else she needed to explore with this work. She began sharing her process in workshops, inviting people to join her in foraging for inspiration, helping them take photos of their creations, and leaving each mandala behind to recycle back into nature. 

Each person who joins her has a unique experience connecting with the world around them; Meredith says it slows you down, calms your mind, and gives you permission to be observe and explore. Even if that feeling is fleeting, it’s a tool you can use every day, whether you are in nature or not, to quietly experience the world around you and enjoy the temporary beauty of that moment.   

Meredith Brower’s eco-art is available for purchase at The Drawing Room. 


Meredith Brower is bringing her mandala workshop to The Drawing Room on July 24th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In this workshop, you’ll forage the urban landscape and connect with the world under your feet. Bring a camera, iPad, or phone to capture images of your work. Participants should also bring a favorite talisman to incorporate into your mandala. You’ll create, photograph, plus learn how to edit and post your images. This is an opportunity to change your perspective, look deeper, and ignite your inner artist.