Bodhi Unbound

Damcho is a multimedia artist who has exhibited and performed in numerous solo and group shows, including the Melbourne International Festival and has been the recipient of several awards.

From early on in her practice, Damcho's work has explored boundaries and sought ways to subvert concepts. Whilst being informed by feminist thought, it is her spiritual contemplations - which are grounded in formal studies in Christian Mysticism and Tibetan Buddhism - that motivate and sometimes narrate her art.

During her early career, she reached a conviction that the most important element of art was intent, rather than form. Arriving at this certainty, she gave away or destroyed the art she had created over ten years (including documentation). This culminated with her 2001 exhibition, 'Waive' at Mass Gallery, Melbourne, where she resided for three weeks whilst erasing 1200 drawings one by one.

Convinced that her creative practice would continue as she dedicated herself to meditation, Damcho moved to her teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche’s major Buddhist centre in France and soon after took ordination as a nun. Between 2001-2011, she worked at perfecting this ideal, convinced that she was sculpting intent through her monastic practice.

With Damcho's dedication to exploring and transcending boundaries within the context of the Buddhist ideal of egolessness, she experienced erasure in relation to her sense of self and the body. When she could no longer tolerate her teacher’s views that presented physical and spiritual abuse as a path to enlightenment, she ran away from the monastery where she lived.

After returning her precepts in 2011, Damcho also experienced that the erasure of her sexuality through maintaining celibacy had eroded the sense of boundaries of her body. With this, she recognised the considerable journey involved in returning to form: both in a woman’s body and as a creator.

And so, in 2016 when Damcho first tried on latex, it became an entry point for her return to the body, and to art practice as a contemplation and vehicle for numinous experiences.  Her 'Bodhi Unbound' projects and contemplations attracted worldwide media attention. 

In 2017, Damcho joined with 7 other former students of the Sogyal Rinpoche in holding him to account for the many abuses that he had committed over a 40-year period.  She has since presented papers at conferences and contributed a chapter to an academic book on this subject. 

‘Bodhi Unbound’ proved to be a starting point for using material poetics to explore religious abuse and the subversion of boundaries. Through her current practice, she seeks to find restorative processes, rewrite trauma and allow the body to speak true. 

Damcho now lives on the banks of the Birrarung (Yarra River) in Narrm, Melbourne on the unceded lands of the Wurundgeri. She pays her respects to elders past, present and emerging.