Sarah Alford
Morphotype (detail), 2013
hot glue
4' x 4'
The underlying layer of Morphotype begins with a template of a generic leaf design taken from Christopher Dresser’s art botany lectures delivered to Marlborough House in London between 1854 and1856. The top layer begins with his drawing of the “essence” of the same leaf. Dresser is well known for extending the study of the life sciences into the principles of design. His field combined pre-Darwinian Victorian science and eighteenth century German romanticism. Particularly influential was Naturphilosophie, an aesthetic science with roots in writings of Goethe and his work on morphotypes, the recognition of the ideal in the real. British design reformers translated this into a system for designing patterns based on the search for the one underlying essence of every natural form. I made Morphotype by drawing repeats of Dresser’s drawings over and over and over again in hot glue. The repeat slowly changes as I make new templates incorporating the lines made by the strings of glue into a new repeat. This causes the fabric to change from a coherent open work into one that is no less controlled, but very dense and layered. This allows the “essence” of Dresser’s design to “re-flower” according to the tendency of the glue in the process of drawing.
PREV / NEXT   3 / 3