Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Contemplative Look at the Principles of Design - Pattern

A regular arrangement of alternated or repeated 
visual elements
(shapes, lines, colors) or motifs.

  A primary characteristic of human thought is the recognition of and search for pattern.  I make the search for pattern part of my love of "simplicities" or photographic abstraction.  You can find examples nearly everywhere you look.  This still life is in my bathroom.

   Patterns can say a lot to the contemplative photographer. As I've said before, repetition is revelation.  We feel comfortable with pattern because it is knowable and predictable.  But life is seldom that.  Perhaps that is why we seek it out.

   I particularly like to find examples of pattern that offer a counterpoint as well.  Like this photograph of the crumpled and imprecise facecloths in the uniform and repeating containers. People seem like that to me.  We seek the comfort of uniformity while squirming within its confines to express our individual uniqueness.  It is a love/hate relationship.

   Now, I've looked at this still life everyday for years and thought nothing much of it.  But when I went in search of pattern in my home for this post, it fairly leaped off the wall for me.  I use to tell my students that they can never really learn something until they perceive some need to do so.  It is like that with contemplative photography too.  We won't see the metaphors until we feel a need for them.  Imagine all the wonderful messages all around you right now just waiting for your contemplative eye to both acknowledge your need for them and then to seek them out!


Lisa Gordon said...

There are so many wonderful things to be found, if we only give ourselves permission to see them. I really love this image.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Lisa! I can't believe I've walked by this for years and didn't think it worth photographing. I'm certainly re-visiting other places in my environment now!