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Pattern and the power of making

I’ve been thinking on and off for a few years now about how important *pattern* is to me. How I’ve always loved knitting, crochet, embroidery, beadwork where there is a rhythm to it. A repetition that is meditative.

But also about how I like coincidence in my life. How spotting a pattern in events or my surroundings is pleasing.

And also about how pattern can sometimes be made stronger by breaking the pattern a little, by way of pointing out where the pattern lay. By creating a feeling of discomfort in the broken pattern. Or a feeling of comfort in breaking the pattern maybe, to break the monotony.

There was an art installation on an open field beside a road, back in Tasmania where I’m from. I’m not sure if it’s still there. But it was a scattering of red shapes. Just oddly shaped objects laying around on the field. But when you got to a certain spot on the road then =bam= all of the shapes lined up from that ONE spot and spelled a word. And the you blink and they are just shapes again because you’ve moved on. I don’t even remember the word. But I do remember a powerful feeling and a definite change in the way I thought about pattern, because the connection between all of those random shapes was completely invisible until you reached that one spot.

My thinking that emerged from that installation:

  • That the ability to spot a pattern could depend *entirely* upon your point of view.
  • That pattern could exist but you would never see it unless you moved.
  • That connections between things could be unseen but very strong/meaningful.
  • Juts because YOU don’t see a pattern doesn’t mean it’s not there.
  • Just because YOU don’t see a pattern doesn’t mean someone else can’t as they have a different point of view.

And on a meta-level:

  • That art could change the way you think about the world.

Some of this may seem very obvious, but I never realised these things before that installation. It changed the way I viewed the *power* of art. Of making. Of expressing ideas.

And today I read this: “thinking about design and repetition and how interrupting a rhythm makes a personal statement about being there.” (from here: Yes. So so close to my heart.

And. Once, along time ago, I read that some cultures value the ‘deviation from perfection’ in textiles/art as it says something about the maker. And even deliberately put ‘imperfections’ in repeating patterns to achieve this. I never understood this, but my thinking has changed and I can now value this. My thought is that there is often only one way to follow ‘a pattern’ but an infinite number of ways to deviate from a pattern. And now Jude’s words guiding me back to the thought: making the choice of where to deviate is the bit that’s personal.

Okay so many words today, but I’m thinking a great deal.

Maybe it’s because I’m working on this piece, a festive pattern I bought to make table decorations for Christmas:


It’s been a *very* long time since I worked on a purchased pattern rather than my own thoughts/design. It’s allowing my mind to wander.

And dessert last night:


Icecream and frozen yoghurts I made. And berries I picked myself.