I’ve had Clifford Ashley’s “Book of Knots” sitting around for some time. While this is not the inspiration for the KNOTS series, it fills a cultural history of utility. These were not tangles, but structures of survival, necessary for a complex industry of sailing, shipping, and trade. Ashley points out that these were creative inventions, as much art as craft, made by men on long voyages in the middle of a foreign, immense sea.
Knots in modern science are theories of infinity, where there is no end and no beginning, the simplest being a loop, or a twisted loop with definable intersections.
The series “Absolution, Penitence, Contrition, Redemption” draws on Christian clues of salvation. The piece “Indemnitas” presents the knot as a codified protection from loss, another kind of salvation. All of these are drawn with homemade iron gall ink on sheep parchment, but this last, which leaves the shape of the animal origin of parchment evident, is also a less symbolic– and more literal– sacrifice. Together with the homemade quill pen used for drawing, these take us to the essential nature of creation, a necessity, an improvisation, a creation, sometimes obstinate, in the face of survival and salvation. They are infinite gestures, coded formulas, 3-dimensional love letters, from a lone ship at sea.
Untitled, 50x 70 cm, verdigris ans iron gall ink on sheep parchment
penitence, saffron and iron gall ink on sheep parchment, 10 x 15 cm
contrition, verdigris and iron gall ink on sheep parchment, 10 x 20 cm
“Fear & Trembling”. Verdigris, Indigo, Bone Black and oil on parchment. 65 x 65 cm, variable.
Indemnitas. iron gall ink on sheep parchment, 70 x 90 cm variable