Patterns - a visual journey. Learn how to see & read patterns!
Well, today it was sunny in London, so I decided to grab some inspiration at the famous Victoria & Albert Hall Museum. Beautiful place! If you haven’t been there yet, you should definitely make the time to spend at least one day there. As I am sitting in a small coffee shop near by, having a late lunch (because I forgot to eat, of course), I am trying to sort through the tons of beautiful things I saw: sculptures, ceramics, clothing, architectural models...so much good stuff!!!
Ok back to the subject at hand. I needed some inspiration for a project, so I though the V&A could offer some insight, and well...it did not disappoint! Found tons of colour palettes, details and textures - but what just jumped out at me were the patterns! Patterns have a habit of being present everywhere around you, regardless if you notice them or not. They are basically a repetition of geometric or fluid shapes.
I started my visual adventure with some little medieval sculptures, but when I started to notice patterns around me, it was like everything else disappeared and I was on a mission! So I begin looking like crazy for patterns on the floor, on the ceiling, on the items on display...and ohooo I found more than I hoped for.
As you can see, the basis of this pattern is its geometric form. These tiles were used as floor surfaces in both public & residential spaces back in the 1500s. These particularly tiles were commissioned by the Lombardi family, and used in a chapel in Fiori, Italy, where they were patrons.
What is interesting here, is the natural motif ( or pattern if you like ) that is on these tiles. So beside the geometrical shape, the colours and drawings on them form a secondary and third level of pattern:
- 1st pattern - the shape of the tile ( put more of them together and you form an even bigger geometrical shape );
- 2nd pattern - the colours - you can create a pattern with just colours and shapes ( position different colours in different places - you can create different designs );
- 3rd pattern - the introduction of motifs ( or a pattern inside of another pattern - I know, it's like Inception in here ). This can be any sort of drawing / sketch. Motifs are dominant or recurring ideas in an artistic work. In this case, the motif is inspired by nature. You can see trees, flowers, even birds, thus creating a beautiful design.
After wondering around for a bit, I took some turns ( right or left - cannot remember ) and stumbled upon the Japanese section. I am a big fan of the Japanese lines and ethos in design. I always find them inspiring, although maybe a bit too austere at times, but I mean I get it, I get the idea behind it!
A beautiful find was this architectural model by arch. Sou Fujimoto, called ' Transparent Void of a Tree' (2009). Something about it just made me stop and wonder for a few good minutes. Although it may be categorized as 'unconventional', a pattern is present here, under the shape of triangles.
Another great example is this interesting sculpture made out of glass. Yes, your guess is correct - the pattern is the shape of the glass! By repeating it, but slightly rotate its angle, you get this amazing object. This piece is signed by Ikuta Niyoko and is called 'Free Essence - 6'.
Moving onwards, I managed to find these pretty little things called the 'From Circle' collection. With soft pastel colours and sharp cuts, they have a huge aesthetic potential under the proper light. Signed by Ro Hae-Sin, in 2006, done with traditional Korean ceramic techniques. While we are here, I wish to point out the patterns on the floor ( which can be seen in the glass reflection ). If you are anything like me and you are usually looking where you are stepping, then the V&A will not disappoint here either. Like I said, patterns are everywhere!
A couple of honorable mentions have to go the details of the building. I am not talking here about the obvious entrance hall, or floor patterns in exhibition rooms. I am talking about the stuff that you do not normally look at in a museum. Imagine a girl ( me ) who is photographing everything else except the objects on display. You would think I am crazy, right? Truth be told, I could not help myself once I saw these details. So:
- one mention goes to the floor grills ( which have a pattern - obviously ),
- the other one goes to the beautiful window sills and door frames, made out of gorgeous black marble.
There you have it - a beautiful journey inside the V&A museum. Maybe not what you expected ( as in big, obvious things ), but just the chain of thoughts in my mind. I let my feet follow my eyes, which were distracted by anything colorful and detailed ( such a dependable guide ). The result? A brilliant photo journal I might say.
Have you ever noticed something similar around you, or somewhere you went? If you did, there might be a little observer in you as well. Observation leads to awareness, and awareness can lead to anything you want. Just let yourself be guided by your feet, and you will not regret it. You'll even have pictures to prove it!
All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.