belabela’s new collection is inspired by images which represent how, as the seasons change and we move into a time of reflection, gratitude, and celebration, we are faced with obstacles that we want to remove and destroy so that we can grow, create, and follow our own path…

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of your fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you are perfectly free.”

–excerpt from poem by Rumi)

Lord Shiva is one of the most iconic Gods in hindu mythology. In his dance form he symbolizes the cosmic cycles of destruction and creation. His dance is often referred to as the Dance of Bliss–

The source of all movement,

Shiva’s dance,

Gives rhythm to the universe…

He creates & preserves,

Destroys & releases…

We are part of this dance…

this eternal rhythm…

–excerpt from poem by Ruth Peel

We see destruction in the world everywhere in the form of war, disease, and injustice…but we also see cities, states, and countries re-building, finding cures, and fighting injustices in the hopes that we can create a better world. For me personally destruction has been ever-present in my life but so has the opportunity to meet, experience and be inspired by amazing new and old friends, to navigate a new path, and to create—not just my art but new dreams, hopes, and relationships.

Ganesha, like Shiva, is one of the most ubiquitous & accessible deities in hindu mythology. He is the son of Shiva and represents hope, optimism, and good will. He is most commonly known as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings. His playful physical form–he is elephant-headed, has the large belly of a man, and has multiple arms, is hard to resist. Of all of his features it is his elephant-head that I (and many others—whether religious or not) have always been drawn to– the elephant is considered the wisest of the beasts, and a symbol of power; they inspire awe, love, fellowship and gentleness. All characteristics that I find particularly compelling and necessary in the face of obstacles and pain. In this collection, my interpretation of Ganesha captures his hopeful spirit, the pain that sometimes comes when faced with the challenge of removing obstacles and the importance of fellowship.

For some the compass is a navigational tool; for others the cardinal directions (north, south, east, & west) are symbolically significant– representing many aspects of life and cycles of the seasons. While cultures differ on the meaning of each direction, almost every form of ancient wisdom acknowledges the sacredness of the directions. This universal sacredness is a reminder of the power of direction to not only help us find our way in our daily lives but also in our spiritual ones. The compass re-visited me (as a design idea) while I was exploring a new direction– it is a reminder to follow my own path with intention but also the freedom to change and transform as I continue to remove obstacles (new & old), destroy, and create.