White Night Melbourne: 21 Taras Thangka Exhibition

The Tara Institute’s 21 Taras thangka will be displayed at Melbourne’s White Night arts festival, throughout the night from 7pm to 7am on Saturday, 17 February 2018. There will be meditations and Tara mantra recitations running throughout the event. Offerings of flowers and incense are welcome.


What the world needs now is kindness and compassion – the qualities and power of Tara, the female Buddha. She comes in different colours and poses, and is considered a Buddhist feminist icon. Indeed, Taras are like Wonder Woman: peaceful, beautiful, strong, fearless and quick to help others.

Offering peace in the midst of chaos, Peter Iseli’s stunning, 14-metre high Tara thangka (painting) will inspire all who see it. Commissioned by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and taking Iseli four years to complete, it features 21 Taras with a gigantic green Tara in the centre. Each of the 21 Taras has a special power to help us – to live a long life, to achieve prosperity or relationship harmony, or to protect us from jealousy, anger, sickness or troublemakers.

The thangka is so huge, Iseli had to paint it in sections and even he has not yet seen it completely unfurled. It will debut in full at White Night Melbourne, with meditations and Tara mantra recitations running throughout the event. Offerings of flowers and incense welcome.

Tara the Liberator is an act of love and a gift of hope, available to anyone of any belief and way of life.

Supported by Hamer Hall.

What is a ‘thangka’?

A ‘thangka’ is a visual image of the perfectly developed heart and mind which, to Buddhists, is the innate potential of every living being. Thangkas are sometimes sewn and embroidered and most are framed in brocade. Giant thangkas are traditionally displayed for special occasions and huge gatherings. This vast thangka of the 21 Taras was painted by a highly respected Swiss artist trained in the Tibetan tradition, Peter Iseli.

  • The 21 Taras Thangka is 14 metres high and 9.5 metres wide.
  • It stands taller than a 4 storey building!

About Peter Iseli

Peter Iseli is a Buddhist and respected Swiss artist. He is a master painter in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, with a successful career going back to the 1970s. He has presented his work in many exhibitions in museums and galleries, won prizes in significant visual arts institutions, and has displayed important projects in public buildings in the Swiss city of Bern. Iseli gifted his 21 Taras painting to Melbourne’s Tara Institute, which offers meditations and classes in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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Event Details

Event: White Night Melbourne – Tara the Liberator
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: 7pm–7am
Location: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road
Location Map: White Night Melbourne Precinct 4


Artist’s impression of the 21 Tara’s Thangka and its size.



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