Chris Riederer

For many years now, my path in art has been defined by engagement with pattern and symmetry. At first I was surprised and delighted by how elegant and simple the rules could be to build a beautiful and complex pattern and I found myself exploring an infinitude of possibilities within geometry. The subject flowered for me, and I have found comfort in the endlessness of it. This boundlessness that paradoxically exists within the study of measures and relations is a vastness that sometimes still makes me shudder in wonderment. I feel profoundly lucky to have found a path where this subject can continue to guide my way.

When I decided to study at the PFSTA, I considered my own art to be largely outside of tradition: it was similar in form and practice, but distinctly not within any specific one. I came here in the hope of finding a community of practising artists who shared my enthusiasm for symmetry, and I did find that here (in abundance!), but the most surprising and impactful element of this MA Programme has been the recognition that my work has always been linked to tradition in a particular way. The link is the wonderment. The sense of awe and excitement when a hidden truth is revealed.

The experience of finding the world mysterious and beautiful and making it into art is a primordial one, but it is alive and well in this era and in this School. This practice of exploratory engagement with the principles of geometry to express the beauty of the natural world is a tradition I am honoured to be a part of. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from and work with a remarkable set of brilliant artists, teachers and craftspeople exploring this subject during this Programme.

My Part Two work comprises a Strange curve series, Freehand explorations, that is, experimenting with drawing geometric patterns without the aid of compasses or straight edge and Woodworking. My woodwork pieces were inspired by a short course at the PFSTA where I learned about mangour (joined wood) screens and I created a dodecahedron in the mangour style, as well as a small screen expressing 5-fold symmetry in the mangour style.