Pool Mantra displays a pop sensibility in its graphical simplicity and alludes to mass (re)production of printed media through the repetitive stamping of the word 'pool' 144 times across its evenly divided surface. However, the work swims in much more esoteric waters than the US-imported mass culture that Pop Art is conventionally associated with. The use of mantras in religious rituals and meditation is a practice that originated in India more than three millennia ago and has deep significance for many religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Mantras may be written, chanted or even repeated silently – by standing before this large canvas and allowing it to fill our vision and our thoughts, Tilson invites us to participate in the same meditative practice undertaken during the work’s creation. The choice of the word ‘pool’ refers to the element of water; Tilson also produced mantra painting and prints for the moon, sky and sun. Tilson first adopted the theme in the 1970-73 Alchera series, which included diagrammatic representations of a cosmological system drawing from ancient Greek as well as Asian traditions.