A little while ago I was asked to give a lecture on the principles of pattern.
I called the talk ‘One dot does not a pattern make, Nor one straight thread a warp‘, the rhythm of my lines being based on these of Richard Lovelace:
‘Stone Walls do not a Prison make, Nor Iron bars a Cage;’
from his poem ‘To Althea, from Prison’ written in 1642 – all too apt for these days of isolation and the arrest of the usual day-to-day.My workshop students will have often heard me talk about, and seen me demonstrate, pattern as the accumulation of marks. Following this idea, a pattern is a gathering of many single marks organised to make a whole – just as a community is built of many individuals co-operating to make a cohesive entity.These months are particularly momentous for societies around the world, pivoting on the current and unprecedented pandemic. Both globally and in each of our own more personal communities, co-operation for the greatest good – for survival – is paramount. The welfare of the community is dependant on the health and goodwill of the individual. We are connected, whether apart or together.I’ve based this blog on my slightly poetic reflections about pattern that I read out at the talk.
pattern as pulse – continuum pattern as rhythm – beat pattern as accumulation – many marks make the wholepattern as community – co-operation
pattern as celebration – joypattern as comfort – depend upon it pattern as structure – organisation pattern as beauty – look at the flowers pattern as decoration – repeat again pattern as identity – we belong pattern as protection – moths and tigers pattern as messenger – nature beckons, nature warns pattern as salesman – look, love, wear
pattern as predictor – of behaviour pattern as revelation – negative – or positive?pattern as life – infinitely renewing
Here it is as uninterrupted text:
pattern as pulse, continuum
pattern as rhythm, beat
pattern as accumulation, many marks make the whole
pattern as community, co-operation
pattern as celebration, joy
pattern as comfort, depend upon it
pattern as structure, organisation
pattern as beauty, look at the flowers
pattern as decoration, repeat again – for fun
pattern as identity, we belong
pattern as protection, moths and tigers
pattern as messenger, nature beckons, nature warns
pattern as salesman, look, love, wear
pattern as predictor, of behaviour
pattern as revelation, negative – or positive?
pattern as life, infinitely renewingThis is sent from my so-far-so-good cocoon – separate, protected, alone but not really isolated I hope, and busy thinking, reflecting, making, doing, inventing, painting, planning – and maybe even sorting out some of the thousand boxes!Take great care of yourselves, wash your hands, keep your distances, be very precautious, be sad, be glad, be kind and be well. Let’s hope for a far more equitable and imaginative society for all of us when we emerge.