How do we make meaning, if everything is connected, and connections are found everywhere?
Naturans Naturata explores the infinite order and connection of things. Both the chaos when everything is connected, and the stillness where connections can be recognized.
Using layered prints of simple geometric forms, on some pages the imagery is spare and objects are easily discerned. On other pages prints are so heavily layered that individual shapes are completely obscured.
Images in the book are prints made from drawings of simple geometric forms. I have an ongoing fascination with line, the intersections of lines, and how these simple 2D marks create a sense of space and distance. The drawings here are intentionally imperfect, off-kilter. They are a moment in time, this circle drawn at this moment is a wholly different object from the next circle, drawn in the next moment. Prints repeat from page to page in various forms: repeated, flipped, inverted, printed in reverse. Prints mirror one another along the gutter, or show through to the next page. Much of the images in this book are printed on the reverse side of the page – what we see on the recto is really the next verso. We see things from the back end, assume what they are, and are wrong. Or are we?
The book begins with a quotation from Spinoza’s Ethics: In a circle there are contained infinitely many rectangles which are equal to one another. Nevertheless, none of these rectangles can be said to exist except insofar as the circle exists; nor also can the idea of any of these rectangles exist except insofar as they are comprehended in the idea of the circle.
The title of the book refers to Spinoza’s descriptions of active Nature (Natura Naturans) and passive Nature (Natura naturata).
A text runs through Naturans Naturata, words compiled and rearranged from a geometry primer and Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics. The text begins: “Absolute form, uninflected, viewed without relation to or comparison with.” – describing the notion of an ideal (shape). The book then goes on to examine the collection of ideal shapes, “set of parts, set in order,” the borders that define the shapes, “lines that go through – go around” and then examines the dichotomy between idealized forms that exist in the mind, “aspatial, atemporal,” along with the daily realities of existing in the world “nevertheless, we polish lenses, grind glass.” The book ends with the the phrase, “the order and connection of things, is infinite” – coming back to the idea that the “absolute form” that opened the book, the form we tried to examine all on its own without any context, is really not possible.