Robert L. Peters

13 May 2014

Occidental Habitué

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Shenzhen, China

I’m happy to be participating in The Look of Silk, (The First Session of Cross Strait Silk Culture and Creativity Forum and International Silk Creative Design Expo) sponsored by China Tong Yuan Co., Ltd., Shenzhen China Silk Park, and the Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industry Association.

The Look of Silk plans to “keep alive the spirit of traditional Chinese culture and the international role played by silk in the past, while creating a brand image and market orientation for Chinese silk” by means of innovative creative activities.

As one of “eight internationally renowned designers” I was invited to design a pattern for silk scarves, participate in the 5-day event in Shenzhen, and to give a keynote address earlier today. The title of my silk pattern design (135mm x 135mm) is Occidental Habitué. A design team from Taiwan has developed 80 different silk products using our designs, “creating a systematically multicultural design integrating multiple aspects.”

My design is shown above (click here for a larger view)…

Occidental Habitué

Thousands of icons, images, and visual impressions cross our consciousness daily, weaving rich cultural narratives and imbuing meaningful memories. As travellers, émigrés, and nomads in a shrinking world we wrap ourselves in layers of sensuous, intertwined experience.

My concept involves the creation of an intentionally layered, quirky, and semi-random collage, providing unexpected juxtapositions that draw in the viewer and then reward curiosity with serendipitous surprises of simultaneity. Ancient meets modern, complex collides with simple, small bests large.

Luminous color acts as a background for layered, multidirectional, copyright-free imagery from earlier eras — visual ephemera, linear diagrams, Victorian etchings, old prints, ornaments, printers’ spot illustrations, ad cuts, and clip art — from ancient cave paintings to art deco elements, from flora and fauna to whimsical human inventions.

As if floating above this nuanced visual composition, a repeating directional diamond pattern of contemporary symbols and info-graphic icons (from The Noun Project, an online “visual language” resource of icons created by a global community) lends added dimension, with icons varying in color in a top-to-bottom gradation, complementary to the hue of the background.

A symbol of the globe glows in the fabric’s center.

© 2014 Robert L. Peters


4 May 2014

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou


2 May 2014

Children not looking at modern art…

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At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art… (source)


26 April 2014

It started on a Thursday…

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Gimli, Manitoba

Today we delivered one of Ev’s sculptures to Mermaid’s Kiss Gallery in the lakeside resort town of Gimli—the first time this work is on exhibit in a gallery, and Ev’s first piece in this attractive venue. Drop by and have a look if you’re in the area…

It started on a Thursday…
hand-built clay figure, with fired glazes and partial cold finish; assemblage with metal findings on stained wooden base (old-growth fir);
380mm x 275mm x 380mm.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil…


12 April 2014

Beauty Revealed

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Boston, Massachusetts, 1828

I came across an image of this exquisite miniature yesterday (6.7 cm x 8 cm, watercolour on ivory), and was intrigued to find out about its origin.

Painted as a self-portrait by Sarah Goodridge and given to statesman Daniel Webster after his wife died (Webster sat as a model for Sarah twelve times over two decades), it presents a provocative twist on the “traditional lover’s eye miniatures so popular in London” at the time. I know it would have gotten my attention…

Below is another watercolour-on-ivory self-portrait miniature done by Sarah (who never did marry) two years later, in 1830 (10.2 cm x 7.6 cm).

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30 March 2014

There is hope in honest error; none in the icy perfection of the mere stylist.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)


22 March 2014

DDP opens in Seoul… this is my poster.

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Seoul, Korea

After years of anticipation, the curvacious Dongdaemun Design Park (DDP) by renowned architect Zaha Hadid opened yesterday. Situated at the East Gate (Dongdaemun) neighbourhood in central Seoul’s Jongno-gu district, DDP is destined to become one of the bustling city’s key cultural hubs, while also literally putting South Korea’s design, art, media, and new technologies on the world map. Read more about DDP’s inauguration here.

I was honoured to be one of a dozen designers from around the world asked to contribute a commemorative poster for the occasion of DDP’s opening. I don’t often quote myself, but this time it seemed appropriate…

 

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The DDP photos are by Virgile Simon Bertrand.


19 March 2014

Evelin’s latest… (work in progress).

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Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

Ev’s working on some great new sculptures… here’s a teaser.


11 March 2014

Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.

—Leonardo da Vinci

Thanks to Maggie Macnab for the quotable.


4 March 2014

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)


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