Thoughts on pattern and Li.

I posted on the SiX and Friends blog about a possible direction for my work for the Orientation exhibitions which will take place next year and in 2013. We are working with a broad theme of ‘the Orient’.

I had bought a Wooden book called ‘Li, dynamic form in nature’, as in many ways my principal interests in terms of subject matter are the natural world and patterns. Li is a term taken from the Chinese where it has been used for a very long time, having been expanded from its origins  to the level of a general concept to represent the patterns and principals, and the connection between all things, through which the natural universe expresses itself. It’s a complex philosophy. I am very interested in science and rational explanations but Li suggests, with accuracy, that there is much in the universe that is a continual creative process that cannot be predicted. Like Chaos Theory I imagine, and possibly the search for the elusive Higgs-Boson particle.It’s quite a subject, but I am enjoying it on the pattern level mainly, in that it’s an oriental philosophy that I can combine with my fascination with  pattern.

Wooden books are interesting little volumes on a range of esoteric, philosophical and scientific themes. They’re all available from Amazon etc and even real book shops.

So I dug out some truly old drawings and designs I did 27 years ago, at college, mainly to remind myself for how long I have thought about pattern in nature. Such pattern has featured in my work over the years, but I am hoping to take it a little further. These pieces don’t actually show comparative patterns, which Li pinpoints, but I remembered and like the colours and graphic crispness which I may try to produce in whatever textile work I make. These are more to do with pattern transference, and the designs were for my ceramic pieces, and did appear on some pots and triangular dishes.

This design sheet was inspired by some Japanese purses and inro I had seen. I may use some of these triangular and four sided shapes in my textile pieces.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on pattern and Li.

  1. These are gorgeous Steph, although dangerous as they do bring on that naughty urge to just paint and be happy. I love thoses little lizards crossing the cracks – are there oriental lizards by any fortitious chance? As ever, I am in awe of your intellect (trully) and am made to ponder on the obviousness of myself …. trouble is, all my intelligent thoughts are a bit on the dark side, and no fun to pursue! Have you got any pictures of the pots that came from this work? – Hils xx

  2. Thanks Jacqui, I’m not sure how lazy it is to dig out old stuff but if it still strikes a chord, why not? I didn’t really use it as much as I wanted so that’s a good excuse too.
    Hope things are ok with you, let me know when you have time. Sxx

  3. Hilster, how clever you are to have spotted that they are indeed oriental lizards! Well, they are now.
    The painting question is one I too have been pondering recently: we should make time to discuss this further.
    My intellect is wanting, alas, I’m just interested in lots of stuff, but never deeply enough to make me feel truly clever. Perhaps you shouldn’t anyway. It’s hard work keeping up with you, and you will have to share your dark side at some point too. I too could do very grim work, but won’t let it creep in, although those bones keep rattling into my work. Comes with age I suppose.
    I do have some images of a couple of the pots, I’ll post one or two.
    E soon, S xx

  4. You are probably right about sharing some of the darker stuff – it’s supposed to be therapeutic I believe. Must admit though Steffers – it has never seemed like that to me. When I’m well I just want to enjoy thinking about happy beautiful things and enjoy the brightness, and when I’m not i have no desire, or even ability to create. So it seems to me that the only way to access this work would be to purposely try and enter my dark world when I am well – and I’m just not sure I want to! Not for now anyway. Lets keep the grim stuff in the cupboard for the moment and just be mindlessly cheery old beans. Now painting – yes – it’s funny how we are both drawn to it and it’s almost certainly why we both like painitng our fabrics so much. So why does it seem it would be a cop out to pursue it? Definitely worth an intelligent (or indeed a good superficial) mull at some point when we find ourselves in the same place. Would definitley like to see thoses pots and do put those orienatl lizards in some of your needle museum pieces – do you think they might be called Geiko?? xxx

Comments are closed.