22/11/2022 DELIGHT & DANGER




Father to artist Jess and musician Damon, Keith Albarn is a talented artist and expert pattern maker in his own right. In fact he's been researching the delights and dangers of pattern since the ”Swinging Sixties” and led the research, design and production of the exhibition ‘Islamathematica’ for the first ‘World of Islam Festival’ at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1974 and for the Museum Vorlandenkunde, Rotterdam in 1975.

He also designed the exhibition ‘Illusion in Art and Science’ at the ICA in 1976 and in New York in 1977. This ground breaking exhibition inspired the bestselling book ‘Illusion in Nature and Art’ by R L Gregory and G H Gombrich. Keith also co-authored several books for Thames and Hudson including ‘Language of Pattern’ (1974) and ‘Diagram – the Instrument of Thought’ (1977) and contributed to ‘Teaching Art and Mathematics’, Stanley Unwin, 1991.

'Islamathematica' touring exhibition shots
'Islamathematica' touring exhibition shots

Naturally, given the ACBF theme for our upcoming online art fair is ‘It’s A Pattern’ we were delighted when Jess Albarn proposed a collaboration with her father and we asked him to write some of his key observations from his lifelong obsession with pattern.

He’s come up with ten fascinating, insightful and thought provoking observations. We also encourage you to visit his website to go deeper into his head of patterns! www.patternandbelief.com

Keith Albarn on ‘Pattern’:

I am continuing to “work” [“obsessively”] across disciplines, continuing to play, mapping, unavoidably patterning [!] my explorations …. More synthesis, less analysis …into why pattern is so pervasive, the dangers and delights of same?

It appears that the whole of Nature appears to be “in-formed” by pattern, the survival of most fauna and flora depends on pattern recognition.

Our thought is built of pattern and our artefacts are adorned with pattern.

We are seduced by the self-similar and yet we are troubled or excited by difference.

We see only pattern.

Perception through pattern determines our models of reality [almost always coloured by memory as prejudice].

Sevenz 01 by Keith Albarn
Sevenz 01, 85x85cm

Our models of reality are built of patterns whose form is determined by our physiology and reinforced by our cognition [and prior experience]. The physiological and cognitive perception of pattern is the engine of learning. Eureka ... it’s just like …!

What we perceive or learn is dependent on our response to and/or recognition of patterns [patterns as abstracts of prior experience, as networks of the relationships that give form to the idea, event or thing ].

I have come to accept that we must do so without “belief”, having to act “on the best bet”, questioning, not believing, trying to be more a “Seer”, than merely a “See-er”!

And that “Seeing is not believing” is “blindingly obvious”!

c13mb3.1s by Keith Albarn
c13mb3.1s, 85x85cm

Keith and Jess Albarn will both have new works available inspired by the Pattern theme and available at very special prices exclusive to the ACBF 'It’s a Pattern’ Art Fair.

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