Pattern Recognition

Posted: June 15, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic

“Pattern Recognition” was written by William Gibson back in 2003, the main character Cayce has a pathological sensitivity to brands which resonated deeply all those years ago and even more so now 11 years later as we are living an even stranger version of Gibson’s future foretold here in 2014.
Alarm bells go off in my head whenever I feel my work being influenced by a trend, it makes me look hard at what I’m doing, dig around and if the work is looking too “trendy” I either reject that direction or have a go at pushing it ’round to make it my own.
Last year I asked Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord if I could make a book of her CD of The Spirit Books which was a wonderful journey. Each page of my Spirit Book of the Spirit Books was a direct response to her beautiful books. It took many months to complete & I learned so much from the process but the main thing I discovered was a love of binding grape vine tendrils.
Here’s a fragile passionfruit vine tendril bound with a charcoal silk wrapped steel thread from Dairing, this thread is fantastic, very strong and easier to work than the thinner D-12
silk-steel-and-passionfruit-tendril-Mo-14Another huge influence is Jude Hill and her Spirit Cloth, the  Dark Moon Memory Keeper was made with indigo dyed moons from Glennis Shibori Girl  & Jude as well as experimenting with a lot of her stitching techniques. I treasure everything I learned through the making but the main thing I have taken away from this process is a love of cord making which I took further in the Ghost Fish Memory Keeper and that one would never have been made without the gift of Dee Mallon’s fish cloth and Kathy Dorfer’s crow eye bead.
Karen Ruane is another strong influence that I want to acknowledge here, the pentacle pincushion would never have happened if I hadn’t tried to blacken the lovely piece of FME lace she sent me!
I first discovered Jude and her circle of cloth conjurors via Terri Windling’s Myth & Moor and as you can see by the increasingly long list of blogs and websites in my sidebar there is a lot of wonderful art, poetry and music being shared by so many generous souls from all around the world.
So what was I saying?
ah yes Pattern Recognition…
recognizing the influence of others and giving credit where credit is due

  1. dinahmow says:

    We are all influenced, persuaded, guided by someone or some thing.The tricky bit is knowing when to give our own self free reign…and learning to understand influence and its sneaky cohort, theft.

    • Mo Crow says:

      this post evolved from watching myself get a bit cranky after seeing my influence on a friend’s work, recognizing my own patterns and influences is helping me understand how we are all connected & it’s all OK.

  2. Eliene says:

    You have always inspired me but I also know, being my own worst critic, that my work doesn’t compare but does that stop me from trying…No…….what I love tho Mo is your imagination and where it takes you.

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks for the encouraging words Eliene! we inspire each other on so many levels and friendship is the most important thing in this life!

  3. roz says:

    the elusiveness of inspiration . absorption of influence , idea , connection.
    and the wish to tell a story in one’s own unique fashion . confirming the individuality. that is the challenge

  4. Carol says:

    Always beautifully expressed, Mo, your posts are as stunning as your art. So much to learn from this one.

  5. deemallon says:

    I feel like the meat of the post is in your first comment.

    • Mo Crow says:

      hmmm… you are very perceptive Dee, am still feeling a bit twitchy but the good news is the drawing for Angels is going very well & will probably be finished tomorrow!

  6. beth says:

    Much here to think about, but I can’t seem to get past silk wrapped steel thread. What it might be like to knit or weave with that…

    • Mo Crow says:

      Habu Textiles in New York make a silk wrapped stainless steel too here’s the link & if you look in the side bar of that link you’ll see some lovely knitted work made from the silk wire it would be great for costume making, hats, basketry, any 3D form that needs to hold it’s shape as the wire has a memory, there is also linen, wool & bamboo wrapped steel and copper. Will be doing more with it during Jude’s Weaving of What-ifs.

  7. Dana says:

    This is another interesting conversation Mo. I think trends are instructive expressions of the collective mind. As dinahmow says, we are all influenced consciously and unconsciously by the swirl of thought, image and memory in which we exist. Unfortunately trends can so easily become commercialized shorthand for deeper ideas, losing meaning in the process.
    I think stealing only occurs when one tries to profit by money or reputation from someone else’s work. Copying hurts no one except the pseudo artist who can’t hear her own inner voice. Making art is so entwined with self expression that it hurts to think that we are only producing ditto marks of the current trend, but anything truly rising from our deeper selves must be original.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Dana, thank you for these wise words, they help a lot! In this wild 21st C world of so much sharing of information, imagery, words and music I am feeling almost over stimulated, did you read “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler all those years ago? I think we are there… but in a more amazing way than he foretold, there is so much wonderful work going on everywhere, I love Jude’s circle of cloth conjurors, working with so many intelligent independent and brilliant women and that everyone with a camera phone can tell the world what is happening in their corner of the world, the mainstream propaganda machines are losing their control as the power of the collective mind grows. It gives me great hope that we will see a shift in the dominant paradigm in our lifetimes & start looking after out beautiful planet rather than exploiting her!
      Oh and the drawing for Angels is nearly finished, drawing always brings me back into my centre and helps me understand the world, even in the most desperate times a scribble on the back of an envelope has helped me see what is true what is illusion.

      • Dana says:

        You know, I was thinking of Jude after I wrote my comment. There are so many of us orbiting around her, definitely influenced by her, yet no one I have seen makes anything like her work.
        I join you in hoping that we are on the edge of a change in consciousness and a new day for all of us.

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