WHISE has a new website and nestled amongst the pages are bold and shadow images of a new mandala. 

Mandala is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates to mean ‘circle’ or ‘centre’ and is a geometric configuration of symbols in a circular design with repeating patterns, colours and shapes radiating from the centre. 

Mandalas are often used in various spiritual traditions to aid in focussing attention, and the shapes, colours and symbols usually reflect health and wellbeing, activate creativity, and foster a sense of connectedness with one’s self and others. 

The new WHISE mandala has been created by Wilani van Wyk-Smit, the Creative Director of Wildeye, a creative design studio. 

WHISE has worked with Wildeye for over ten years and during this time, Wilani says she has witnessed the changes both within the organisation and in the work we do. 

Working on our new website gave Wilani the opportunity to get creative.  

“[When creating work for a client] you have to put yourself in their shoes, and you have to care about their business and what they want to achieve, like it’s your own.” 

Creating art for business is important, as often business can be “very generic,” says Wilani. “It can be one dimensional and linear… often business is just about moving from one goal to another.” 

“An artistic approach adds humanity and emotion and connection, and it encourages interaction”. 

Revisiting the original mandala, created by Doseda Hetherington, took time and much consideration. 

“As I was sitting with it, working on it, trying to get some forms and lines out of it to use, I [thought] these are all different forms and lines and colours.  

“They are all made up of the individual pieces, that make up the whole, and it goes on and gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  

“And that just reminded me that we are all individuals, we’re all individual forms, and it takes all the individual forms together to do a little, a little change, but a consistent change, to create something that is bigger, that grows, that is passed down from generation to generation, that just gets stronger and stronger and stronger as it goes out. 

“The mandala made me think of all the unique bodies of every person and how we need every person, and diverse people, all coming together, doing their thing, their little thing, which makes the big thing in the end.” 

From a fleeting idea, the image grew, as Wilani was certain there was something special within the unique forms in the mandala that she wanted to explore. 

“We are like the mandala,” she says, “we are those forms, we are those people.”  

“The people make up the mandala, the people and the forms, and so it just grew.  

 “If you look at the actual detail… it starts with a little [form] almost like a seed, or seedling, and then it grows out… and that is what WHISE does, it just encapsulates it really beautifully, so it just made sense to actually put people in it.  

“But it’s not just a random thing, I think it is very informed by the years of working with WHISE and seeing how WHISE has changed and blossomed and bloomed and evolved from what it was.  

“So, it’s almost like its full circle, and the circle isn’t finished yet, it’s still growing. 

“It tells the story of WHISE,” says Wilani.  

The team at WHISE agree, and we encourage you to connect with us, spend a little time with the shapes and forms of the mandala, and be part of the growing circle. 


Jo French
Communications, Business and Events Support Officer, WHISE
October 2021