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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
Language of Ornament, continued
We are not beyond hope of recovery, though. The need to ornament, though stifled by the still lingering effects of materialistic life-style, is still evident, although we have become consumers rather than creators of this as well as other needs.

The form language, the grammar and system of primitive art is still accessible. We shall look at the form-language in due course, but we have to re-evaluate the meaning of decoration first. We must appreciate that of all forms of symbolic thinking, primitive ornament is the most eloquent, pure and effective means of expression and participation in the realm of symbol.

Looking at the contexts in which primitive ornament has flourished, we see that a deeper value is implied than we have come to associate with the art of decoration, for in fact, we no longer consider pattern to be significant at all, nor even art as we think of it.

A different value system applies to truly primitive art whereby object or artifact is ritually decorated, endowed with the power to awaken in the viewer a sense of cosmic connection, and deeper still, a sense of that which gives rise to the universe through the agency of patterns, according to which matter itself is structured, the principle of order underlying the cosmos.

Take the word "adornment", as to deck-out a Christmas tree with decorations.  A tree without lights is just a tree. Decked-out, it is a Christmas tree. The ornament enhances the tree so that it becomes more than a tree. It becomes a symbol.

 

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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