I have used a grid format unconsciously in many artworks in the past, but more recently have become much more aware of using it. It was around the time that I visited a solo exhibition (April 2019) by an acquaintance who paints construction sites en plein air, that I started to reflect more deeply on the significance of ‘the grid’.
I have become interested in what is in our makeup that attracts us to certain shapes and patterns. I did some internet searches to look up textile designs and patterns which are favoured by cultures from East to West, and from all continents, North to South, and I discovered that the designs are fundamentally similar. There is a repetition or layering which leads to the grid shape in almost every case. Why is it that our eye is attracted to these forms?
We are after all organic beings made up of rounded shapes. When holding a pencil to paper, we draw arcs much more naturally than straight lines. Yet we find that a disorderly work-desk looks more attractive to us when all the papers are lined up and at right angles to each other. Something is in us that wants to line up tools and utensils to make sense of them; to be more productive. City construction sites are made up of a miriad of grids, not to mention the high-rise buildings that they produce. The grid seems to work against chaos and decay in the world. I am sure to be thinking more about this.