16 June 2012

The Compulsive Quest

My piece for Idiot Joy Showland focusses on this photograph of a Leylandii  hedge in Knowle, Bristol.

Compress the shrubs, absolute, free from imperfections, geometric forms, orders, rules and regulations.
Barriers, screens, nature, manmade, angles, lines, arches and pyramids. Ordered shadows. Privacy.

Society seeking a form, straight lines and curves. Deviating from nature, shaping and re-defining.

"In a chaos of shifting impressions, each of us constructs
a stable world in which objects have recognisable shapes, 
are located in depth, and have permanence."
(Mary Douglas, 1966)

Grand formality, retreat from strife, precision. Maintaining 'curious greens.'

"Our British gardeners...instead of humouring nature, love
 to deviate from it as much as possible. Our trees rise in 
cones, globes and pyramids. We see the mark of the
scissors on every plant and bush. I do not know whether
 I am singular in my opinion, but for my own part, I
would rather look upon a tree in all its abundance and
diffusions of boughs and branches, than when it is cut and 
trimmed into a mathematical figure."
(Joseph Addison, 1712)

Shifting ratios - absolute or relative,                                    Problem solving in a complex world.
                         universal or particular
                         certainty or doubt

Kaleidoscopic - changeable, fluctuating, fluid, complex and confused.

"Without order, planning, predictability, central control...
obedience, discipline - without these nothing fruitful can
happen, because everything disintegrates. And yet - without
the magnanimity of disorder, the happy abandon, the
entrepreneurship venturing into the unknown...the creative
imagination rushing in where bureaucratic angels fear to
tread - without this, life is a mockery and a disgrace.'
(E.F Schumacher, 1973)

"There is no other way forward but consciously to act as nature acts, consciously ordering things in a way that allows individuality to unfold, while this unfolding also serves the life of the whole. This whole is the form of our life."
(Hugo Haring, 1925)

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