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v1.11 preface
v1.11 cover
v1.11 contents
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The Celtic Art Coracle volume 1 issue 11
Fig. 97: Primitive patterns from the Orkneys and Baluchstan
Language of Ornament, continued
If we can become aware of the significance of very rudimentary shapes- diamond, chevron, diagonal cross - and if we can begin to see number patterns with the kind of imaginative fluidity that characterized the mind of the pre-classical world, we may be able to see  more in a page of illuminated manuscript decoration than a superficial aesthetics allows; we may be able to penetrate to the level of intelligible structure, rather than the representational content.
Fig. 97: Primitive patterns from the Orkneys and Baluchstan

In comparing the archaic ornaments of traditional arts, one is struck by the universality of certain motifs such as the zigzag or the diamond pattern. For instance, a repertory of ornament from the edge of a slab in the Orkneys (Fig.1, a) is strikingly similar to pottery designs from the pre-Indus Valley culture of Baluchstan (Fig.1,b). Such art is what I mean by "primitive ornament". Unfortunately, our term, "primitive" is often used pejoratively, to mean "crude". Yet this word properly describes values of artistic and spiritual expression that are prior to - and more globally applied - than the parochial standards of modern art.

 

The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved
10.02.01edition
coracle@thecoracle.tripod.com

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