January 19th is international flower day. To celebrate this we explored the concept, from author Keith Critchlow, of ‘Living rhythms, form and number’.
‘The experience of a radically desacralized nature is a recent phenomenon, moreover, it is an experience accessible only to a minority in modern societies, especially scientists’. (Mircea Eliade)
Keith explores the four levels from which to consider flowers: the evident or material level (the physical body); the social or psychological level ((how flowers affect us actually and symbolically); the cultural and mythological level (the deeper cultural significance which differs according to each culture or civilisation), finally the inspirational level (that which moves or inspires all human life)
Using geometry, Keith explores the concept of our original wholeness and that of the natural world and treats flowers as a source of remembering as well as learning about our inner power of recognition and consciousness. The beauty of a flower draws on some universal truths (permanent principles) similar to the truth of mathematics. He uses the Fibonacci Law to explain the spiral at the centre of many flowers and the symmetry that helps to create their appeal. This spiral follows the ‘flow’ of the life journey of the flower from seed to mature plant and then back to seed again.
We chose some flowers to help demonstrate the geometry and spiralling beauty of flowers – look at the centre of each flower, to see its spiral that represents the winding up and down of its life, the set of the petals in each flower, the formation, the shapes and patterns formed by the petals – and since patterns are at the heart of ‘recognition’ and the power of consciousness, flowers serve to remind us of the laws of mathematical and spatial order, the ‘laws’ underlying beauty.
“As Socrates said: ‘ Geometry is the art of the ever-true’ – the constant reminder that flowers are emissaries of the ‘ever-true’ makes what we live in a cosmos not a chaos.’
This is part of a series of works celebrating nature, sustainability, environmental awareness and craftsmanship.